When a person has Trigger Finger, they have inflammation of the tendons in the fingers or thumb, which causes them to catch or pop as they bend. Everyday activities that require the use of the hand may become difficult and painful.
When visiting a trigger finger doctor, there are a few things you should expect on the road to a diagnosis.
A hand doctor will perform a physical exam of your hand if Trigger Finger is suspected. The specialist will have you open and close your hand while watching for catching, locking or motion that causes pain.
The tendon of the affected finger may have an area that swells that can be felt in the palm. The trigger finger doctor may feel this lump and ask you to move your finger as he continues to press the lump. This lump will move as the finger moves.
Your doctor will want to hear from you about the symptoms you’ve been having to help diagnose any hand condition. It’s a good idea to jot down some notes before your appointment so you remember to communicate the symptoms that have led to your visit. Write down where you’re having pain, numbness or catching, as well as any specific activities that you’re finding more challenging to accomplish, like buttoning a shirt or squeezing a gas pump, for example. Take note of certain times of the day in which symptoms seem to flare or any injuries you’ve sustained to your hand.
When your hand specialist has completed the examination, you may hear a grade given to your case. Trigger Finger is graded on a 5-level scale: Grade l, Grade ll, Grade lllA, Grade lllB, and Grade lV. Grade l is the least severe, where there is evidence of inflammation, but no demonstrable triggering is noted. Grade lV, the most severe, is a case in which longstanding inflammation has led to the finger being ‘stuck’ in a permanently bent position. Your trigger finger test result will inform the hand doctor's course of treatment.
After examination, your hand specialist will advise you on a course of action that is determined by the severity of your case and other health factors. If you suspect you may have Trigger Finger, give us a call at 630-359-6888 or schedule an appointment here. The Midwest Hand Specialist team looks forward to helping you!
There are some medical conditions that may increase the possibility of developing trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis.
Answers to commonly asked questions about trigger finger, including trigger finger release surgery.
5 common hand conditions and their symptoms. Carpal Tunnel, Cubital Tunnel, Trigger Finger, Dupuytren's Contracture, Ganglion Cysts.