Stenosing tenosynovitis, otherwise known as trigger finger, involves the pulleys and tendons in the hand that bend the fingers.
Trigger finger occurs when the pulley at the base of the finger becomes too thick and constricting around the tendon, making in hard for the tendon to move freely through the pulley.
Because of the increased resistance to the gliding of the tendon through the pulley, patients may feel pain or ‘popping’ and as the tendon ‘catches,’ it causes swelling and irritation that can be painful. Sometimes the finger becomes stuck or locked and is hard to straighten or bend.
What causes trigger finger is not always clear. Some trigger fingers are associated with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes.
The aim of the treatment is to elimate the catching or locking and allow full movement of the finger or thumb without discomfort.
Splints sometimes help or a course of steroid injections can provide relief.