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All About Trigger Finger Singapore – A Doctor’s Guide

28th Feb 2022 | 0 comments

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger in Singapore is a common disorder that affects the fingers, causing them to lock in place. It is a condition where the finger or thumb cannot be straightened as the finger or thumb becomes stuck in a bent position and cannot be straightened by hand.

The condition can affect either one or both hands, but it is more common in the dominant hand. It can be painful and disabling, both at the same time.

A trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the sheath around the flexor tendon. When the tendon becomes stuck in this narrow space, it cannot slide back and forth easily. This causes pain when you try to bend your finger joint. It also causes stiffness in your fingers during the day, especially after resting for a while.

It usually develops in people above the age of 40, especially those who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or other conditions that cause inflammation in the body.

Fortunately, trigger fingers can be treated with non-surgical procedures such as injection therapy or steroid injections to reduce inflammation of the tendon sheath. This piece will cover all there is to know about trigger fingers in Singapore.

Symptoms of Trigger Finger

The symptoms of trigger finger can progress from mild to severe, which typically include:

  • Finger stiffness, especially in the morning.

  • A popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger.

  • A bump (nodule) in the palm at the base of your affected finger.

  • Finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops up straight.

  • Finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten.

Trigger finger can affect any finger, including the thumb. It can affect more than one finger at one time or involve both hands. The triggering is usually more pronounced in the morning, while firmly grasping an object, or when straightening your finger.

Diagnosis for Trigger Finger

Diagnosis for trigger finger typically doesn’t require any elaborate testing. Your doctor or healthcare provider can make the diagnosis based on your medical history and physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will examine your hand for smoothness of motion and evidence of locking.

Your doctor will also feel your palm to see if there is any lump or tenderness at the base of your affected finger. If the lump is associated with the trigger finger, the lump will move as the finger moves because the lump is the swollen area in part of the tendon that moves the finger.

How to Prevent Trigger Finger

Before you can prevent the trigger finger from developing, you should know that it usually occurs when one of the tendons that run along your fingers and thumbs is swollen. This makes it difficult for the affected tendon to slide through its membrane, causing you to experience pain and stiffness.

The swelling can also cause a section of the tendon to form into a small lump (nodule) at the base of your affected finger or thumb. When this happens, the tendons can get trapped in the tendon sheath, causing your affected finger or thumb to be temporarily bent.

As such, the best way to prevent trigger fingers from developing is to take breaks, especially if you’re someone who often works on the keyboard. You should also avoid overuse of the wrist and fingers and be sure to use the appropriate hand tools for the job.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Trigger Finger

Trigger finger treatment in Singapore generally depends on the severity of your symptoms. In most cases, patients will start with:

  • Rest – You mustn’t move the affected finger or thumb, especially if you’re involved in an activity that’s causing the problem. If you can’t quit, try using padded gloves to absorb the pressure on your wrist.

  • Splinting – When your finger is locked in a bent position, your doctor may give you some splints that are designed to keep your finger still. This will prevent your finger from any sudden movement that may worsen your condition.

  • Exercises – Certain stretching exercises can help ease the stiffness in your hand while improving its range of motion.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Your doctor may suggest OTC drugs that help to fight inflammation such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

  • Steroid injections – Steroid shots are given when the treatments above fail to relieve your symptoms. Check with your doctor to find out if you’re eligible for the shots.

Surgical Treatment for Trigger Finger

Surgery is only recommended if the non-surgical treatments above fail to relieve the symptoms of your trigger finger. Besides, the efficacy of trigger finger surgery is generally commended by hand surgeons in treating chronic trigger fingers.

The procedure typically takes less than an hour and you’ll be given a local anaesthetic to ensure a smooth, painless surgery.

Open Surgery

This surgery may sound daunting, but it is highly effective in treating chronic trigger fingers. Before the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain during the surgery. Once it takes effect, your surgeon will make a small incision in the palm of your hand.

After which your surgeon will locate the tendon sheath and carefully cut through it to make more space for the tendon. Before closing the incision with stitches, your surgeon may flex and extend your affected finger to ensure that the tendon can move freely.

At Spire Orthopaedic Centre, everyone should be cared for and healed holistically in comfort without having to travel to different locations to seek medical and surgical help and rehabilitation support.

With a combined facility for collaboration between physicians, physiotherapists, and surgeons, you will experience a seamless service from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, that’s tailored just for you at our clinic.