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What is trigger finger?

| Sep 13, 2019 | workers' compensation

Trigger finger is a type of repetitive strain injury that may affect workers in certain professions in Arizona. According to WebMD, you may be more likely to develop trigger finger if you work in a job that requires forceful, repetitive motions of your finger(s) and thumb. Examples of professionals who may be at greater risk of developing trigger finger include industrial workers, musicians and farmers.

Trigger finger causes painful catching and locking of the joints of your finger. You may have trouble extending or bending your fingers as a result. 

The medical term for trigger finger is tenosynovitis. It results from chronic irritation of the tendons that connect your finger bones to the muscles to facilitate movement, as well as the sheaths of tissue that cover the tendons. Tenosynovitis often occurs at the thumb or index finger, but it can affect any of the digits of your hand. 

Unfortunately, treatment for another type of repetitive strain injury can increase your risk for developing trigger finger. Carpal tunnel surgery puts you at increased risk for trigger finger, especially during the first six months following the procedure. Trigger finger is also more likely to affect people age 40 through 60. Women experience it more often than men. 

The pain associated with trigger finger often gets better as you move your finger, while prolonged inactivity (such as when you are asleep) may worsen symptoms. Other symptoms of trigger finger include snapping, clicking or popping sounds when moving the finger and a bump called a nodule at the base of the affected digit. 

The initial treatment course for trigger finger usually begins with anti-inflammatory medication, rest and immobilization of the finger in a splint. If these modalities are not effective, your doctor may recommend steroid injections or trigger finger release surgery. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.