Trigger Finger Surgery - Independent Health Group - England

Trigger Finger Surgery

Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is a painful condition that affects the tendons in the hand. As the finger or thumb is bent towards the palm, the tendon gets stuck and the finger clicks or locks

Around 2-3% of people develop trigger finger. While the cause of trigger finger is not known, certain factors may increase the likelihood of it developing. For example, it is more common in:

* females,
* people who are over 40 years of age, and
* people with certain medical conditions.

These medical conditions include other conditions in the hand, such as Dupuytren’s contracture, and some long-term conditions, such as diabetes. Around 10% of people with diabetes develop trigger finger.

What causes trigger finger?

The cause is often not clear. Most cases occur for no reason in healthy people. It is thought to be due to some inflammation which causes swelling of a tendon or a tendon sheath.

What are the treatment options?

No treatment. Around 1 in 5 cases will improve without any treatment. Simply resting the hand and allowing any inflammation to settle may resolve the problem.

A steroid injection. A steroid injection into the tendon sheath is one treatment if the condition does not settle. It works by reducing inflammation and works in about 9/10 cases. Second injections are sometimes required.

Surgery. An operation done under local anaesthetic may be advised if the above does not work. A small cut is usually made at the base of the finger and the tendon sheath is widened. The operation is usually very successful.

What are the possible complications?

There is a small risk of damaging the finger nerve and causing some numbness to the finger. Also, as with any operation, there is a small risk of any wound becoming infected.

On the day of your operation

On the day of your operation you can eat and drink normally and take your usual medication – unless otherwise stated in specific cases. Please wear something with loose fitting sleeves and remove and rings on the hand that is to be operated on.

In the operating theatre there will be a few of us to make sure you are well looked after and comfortable. If you would like to listen to some music during the operation please bring a favourite CD or ipod etc.

You will need a responsible adult to drive you home. You will be with us for less than an hour.

The operation requires the hand to be numbed with local anaesthetic, which is very effective. The basis of the operation is to release and prevent further triggering.

After the operation

Some people can do fairly hard labour after only a few weeks. However, it can take a few months to regain full strength and the scar area will remain tender over this period. The time off work will usually vary from a few days to a few weeks. Please ask for a work certificate if needed.

IHG general exclusion criteria

1. Any local anaesthetic allergy.
2. Any latex allergy.
3. Implantable defibrillator.
4. 2 week wait referrals for cancer care.
5. Patients aged <18 years.
6. Patient weighing over 135Kg.
7. Patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act or are experiencing an acute psychotic episode.
8. Patients being detained by Her Majesty’s Prison Service, where security arrangements are deemed not to be appropriate.

NB We should also only treat patients who are deemed suitable for local anaesthetic treatment in the community and who prefer local anaesthetic over a general anaesthetic.

What our patients say

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    Available at the following clinics:

    • Syston (Leicester)

    The following staff perform Trigger Finger Surgery: