Trigger Finger Operation

St Luke’s Surgery
Pinfold Health Centre
Field Road
Bloxwich, Walsall

What is Trigger Finger/Trigger thumb

The tendon that bends the finger passes through a pulley inside the palm at the palm crease. This pulley becomes tighter for some unknown reason. This throttles the tendon which becomes painful and   swollen beyond the pulley and develops a small thickening (Nodule). When the finger is bent the nodule passes up through the pulley and gets stuck and cannot pass back down. When the finger is forcefully straightened the nodule is pulled back down through the pulley with a painful click.

What are the symptoms

The finger locks into a bent position when you make a fist or grab something tightly. While the unaffected fingers straighten the affected one breaks rank and remains bent and painful. When forced to open it straightens with a painful click, the pain being quite severe and felt in the palm and radiating to the finger.

How is it diagnosed

Clinical diagnosis - There is no special test.

What treatment options are there

Injections to reduce pain and swelling of the tendon will relieve the condition temporarily in most cases and permanently in half the people. The injection may have to be repeated.

If the condition is not relieved by 2 or 3 injection it needs operating.

How is the operation done?

Operation is done under local anaesthesia. The offending pulley is cut. The gap fills with scar tissue and heals the pulley is a ‘stretched, more relaxed’ position.

What is the time to recovery?

The wound heals in a week or 2. The scar can be tender for 3 weeks.

What are the complications

Very rare to have any complications, however, any operation can get infected or bleed.

What are the costs?

Free on the NHS. Private patients injection £55, Operation £200.