The symptoms of a trigger finger
Trigger finger is a condition in which an inflamed flexor tendon causes the finger to snap or lock in a bent position.
Swelling of the tendon will cause stiffness and pain, sometimes intense, in the palm when fingers are flexed or extended. Over time, the finger can stay locked in the bent position and will require the use of the other hand to straighten it.
What are the most common causes?
The tendons that enable our fingers to bend connect the muscles in the forearm to the finger bone, and pass through a tunnel where they connect to the finger bones. Each tendon is has a synovial sheath that lubricates it for smooth gliding when in motion. A problem arises when that sheath shrinks or the tendon swells.
This causes inflammation and the tendon can even develop a nodule that results in a complete obstruction. The condition is most common among women, diabetics and persons over the age of 40.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms start with pain and stiffness in the palm, particularly in the morning. Pressure applied to the palm can cause pain, and a nodule (lump) can sometimes be felt. The finger becomes locked in a bent position and will extend with a snap, sometimes requiring assistance from the other hand. It is not uncommon for several fingers to be affected.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis is based on clinical history and examination. The palm may often feel painful to the touch. Popping sounds can be heard when fingers are bent and extended. In advanced cases, the finger(s) can stay locked in a bent position.