The Trigger Finger Release Operation

Trigger finger is the symptom of the locking of a finger or thumb in the bent position. The problem is caused by a tight tunnel or sheath at the base of the finger, in the hand. One of the finger tendons forms a nodule, which catches in the mouth of the sheath as it goes in and out. When the nodule comes out of the sheath, the finger locks in the bent position.

The operation to release a trigger finger involves making a small cut in the skin of the palm and cutting open the mouth of the sheath to allow the tendon to move more easily. Trigger thumb is very similar to trigger finger. The operation is similar but the cut is at the base of the thumb.

After The Operation

There will be a bulky bandage on your hand. It is important to move your fingers and thumb after the operation to stop them stiffening. Remove the bandage after four days to allow better movement but keep the wound covered and dry with the dressings provided. The stitches will be removed 12-14 days after the surgery and you will be asked to start massaging the scar with a moisturiser.

You may get back to driving after around five days if you feel safe to do so and can consider going back to work although people doing heavy manual jobs may need up to four weeks off.

Risks Of Surgery

Generally, this procedure is considered to be very effective and low risk. However some people may have problems. The commonest problem is a little swelling and stiffness of the treated finger for a few weeks. This will settle, particularly if you keep the hand elevated and keep the fingers moving. Occasionally there may be more widespread swelling and stiffness of the hand, which if severe is called reflex sympathetic dystrophy and is rare. Occasionally the scar may be tender or a little thick. This is usually temporary and is helped by scar massage. Infection is also rare.

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