What Is It?

Trigger Finger Release is a surgical procedure that expands constricted tissue space, and encourages free movement within the fingers.

Trigger finger is a painful condition which causes the fingers to latch and lock in place when moved into a bent of flexed position. Strong, thick bands of tissue called tendons are located throughout each of your fingers, helping to connect muscles and bones within your hand. In the limited amount of space your finger has to offer, these tendons are organized within a sheath. Trigger finger occurs when one or more of these specific tendons become so inflamed and swollen that they can no longer glide easily through the sheath.

Why Is It Done?

A wide range of repetitive activities can contribute to, or directly cause trigger finger over time. Blue-collar occupations that ask individuals to forcefully grab and hold onto an object for long durations can cause significant damage to tendons within your fingers. Smokers and even musicians are also at higher risks of developing trigger finger due to repetitive, awkward, and somewhat strenuous finger use. Other common conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and old age have been regularly linked to trigger finger as well.

Trigger finger is not a dangerous condition, but rather an inconvenient one. Non-surgical treatment methods such as anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections can be attempted before surgery if personally requested. Symptoms commonly start without any specific injury, and are fairly easy to distinguish. Tender swelling near finger joints or in your palm is common, along with a painful popping sensation when attempting to bend or straighten your finger.

How Is It Done?

The goal of trigger finger release surgery is to widen the opening of the tendon sheath so that tissue is able to once again move freely throughout the finger. The procedure requires only a very small incision in the palm. After this incision is made, the tendon sheath is cut in a way that frees the locked portion of tissue and allows tendons to smoothly move throughout the finger again. A fairly simple procedure, trigger finger release surgery takes roughly 10 minutes from the opening incision to the closing of the wound.

Release surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. While palm soreness is common, most people are able to move their fingers immediately after surgery. Full recovery is typically reached within a few weeks.