Among the various trigger finger treatments like medication, splinting, physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery, the latter (surgery) is usually the last resort if your trigger finger doesn’t get better with non-surgical treatments.
You see, a trigger finger operation is generally performed to release the constraint (pulley) and give freedom to the flexor tendon to move. That’s because the flexor tendon is held down by a tight pulley, which prevents the finger from straightening after it is stuck in a bent position
These procedures are typically performed in an outpatient setting with an injection of local anaesthesia to numb the area for surgery. After the surgery, you can bend and straighten your affected finger without pain.
That said, you may be wondering how you can recover faster from a trigger finger operation and the steps you can take during recovery. Hence, we’ve decided to cover these questions along with the cost of a trigger finger operation.
In Singapore, the cost of trigger finger treatment can range from $1,250 to $3,850 (based on the MOH surgical fee benchmark). All this depends on your length of stay, where the procedure is performed or if they are any extra equipment or splints used after that.
Although you can opt for a trigger finger operation in public hospitals, you may have to wait a while (several months) to set the appointments and schedule your surgery. Private hospitals, on the other hand, offer a shorter waiting time for setting appointments.
This means you can have the surgery done on the same day. Besides, you get personalised and direct consultation with the surgeon of your choice in Singapore.
Before you opt for a trigger finger operation, there are some things you need to consider such as trigger finger treatment alternatives, and surgical complications.
If you experience mild to moderate symptoms of trigger finger, you likely don’t need surgery to relieve the pain and finger stiffness. However, if other non-surgical treatments fail to improve your trigger finger, surgery is generally recommended.
Additionally, complications can occur with any surgical procedure. Before your operation, your surgeon will discuss the risks and take specific measures to prevent complications. The most common complications include:
Patients who had trigger finger operation generally experience significant improvement in hand function as well as relief from severe pain. After the operation, patients can move their treated finger right away.
Depending on the type of work or activity you perform, you may not need to undergo long periods of recovery. However, if your work involves manual labour, you likely need some time off from work for a full recovery.
Also, if you experienced stiffness in the affected finger before the surgery, your doctor will recommend you to undergo hand therapy after the surgery to loosen it. You can then discuss with your physiotherapist on the recovery exercises you can do at home.
A trigger finger, also known as stenosing synovitis, is a condition where you experience pain and swelling at the base of your affected finger when you try to straighten your finger from a bent position.
It usually occurs when one of the tendons that run along your fingers and thumbs is swollen. The swelling makes it difficult for the affected tendon to slide through its membrane (tendon sheath), 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 that happens, the tendons can get trapped in the tendon sheath, causing your affected finger or thumb to be temporarily bent. It may suddenly break free, releasing your bent finger.
Trigger finger is commonly associated with age, existing health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. However, the causes of most trigger finger cases are likely due to constant or repetitive use of the fingers causing accumulated wear and tear between the flexor tendon and the A1 pulley.
Treatment for trigger finger usually varies depending on the severity of your symptoms. According to Green’s Classification, the symptoms of trigger finger can be divided into 4 grades.
|Grade||Symptoms and Signs|
|Grade 1||Palm pain and tenderness at the A1 pulley|
|Grade 2||Catching of digit|
|Grade 3||Locking of the digit, passively correctable|
|Grade 4||Fixed, locked digit|
There are several treatment options for trigger finger:
Non-surgical, non-invasive treatment such as oral NSAIDs medications, hand therapy, splinting, and activity modification. This treatment option is generally recommended for people with trigger finger classified as Grade 1 or early Grade 2.
Non-surgical, invasive treatment such as an injection directly to the flexor tendon sheath with a mixture of local anaesthetic and corticosteroid. This treatment option generally helps to reduce the inflammation and relieve trigger finger for people who tried the non-invasive treatment and Grades 2 and 3 triggers.
Surgical intervention involves releasing the A1 pulley, pre-annular pulley and part of the A2 pulley if necessary. This treatment option is generally recommended for people with trigger finger classified as Grade 4.
It’s best if you consult a surgeon, who is experienced in handling conditions related to the hands, fingers, and wrist. He would be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to handle all grades of trigger finger.
Additionally, the doctors are also trained to give accurate intra-thecal flexor sheath injections to maximise the possibility of cure and minimise the chance of recurrence.
You can also consult a doctor at our centre as well as a therapist who can and speciality splints such as a figure-of-eight splint. It is often used in the treatment of early grade trigger fingers.
Before your trigger finger treatment, consult your physician about the treatment options, risk factors, and recovery. That way, you know what to expect from the treatment.
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.