The term snapping finger, snapping finger or tendovaginitis stenosans refers to a phenomenon in which the finger is restricted in its freedom of movement due to thickened tendons or a thickened tendon sheath. As the fingers can only be stretched with external help and bending is only jerky, the disease was given the figurative name “triggering finger”.
What is a trigger finger?
The severe form of trigger finger is a movement-limiting disease of a finger that often has genetic causes. See bestitude for HIV Treatment.
This hereditary disease causes the tendon sheath to swell. As a result, the flexor tendon of the finger can no longer slide easily through the annular ligament. Since the tendon can be held up by the ring ligament, bending and stretching of the finger can only be done with jerks. The snapping finger is often accompanied by pain.
As the disease progresses, the freedom of movement of the finger becomes increasingly restricted. Women are usually more likely to be affected by trigger finger than men. The disease typically occurs in middle-aged women. Children, on the other hand, are relatively rarely affected by a trigger finger.
One cause of trigger finger is genetic predisposition. In this case, the trigger finger is already recognizable in childhood. The thumb is often affected. This is also referred to as a congenitally curved thumb.
In addition, a trigger finger can also be a side effect of diabetes mellitus. Other diseases that can cause trigger finger are amyloidosis or rheumatoid arthritis. A triggering finger can also be triggered by tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tumors are a rare cause of disease and can cause trigger finger when they occur on bones or tendons. Taking medication also causes the symptoms of a trigger finger only in exceptional cases.
symptoms; Complaints & Signs
In the case of a triggering finger, there are usually fairly typical and clear signs, since the entire [movement restrictions|movement sequence is very severely restricted]]. The affected finger can often no longer be straightened properly, as this causes a stabbing pain.
Even at rest, a snapping finger caused severe pain, so that a visit to the doctor should not be put off. If you decide early on to see a doctor, you can expect the symptoms that appear to be quickly eliminated. There should be a noticeable improvement within a few days.
However, anyone who decides against such treatment must expect considerable complications. The pain in the affected finger increases significantly, so that even small movements will cause severe pain. In addition, there may even be severe swelling on the finger, which can be seen with the naked eye.
If you suffer from a trigger finger, you should consult a doctor immediately. The existing symptoms can only be alleviated or eliminated with medical or drug treatment. In addition, complete and timely recovery is only possible with the right treatment. Otherwise, the symptoms that appear will significantly increase and worsen.
Diagnosis & History
One sign of trigger finger that can already be diagnosed during the clinical examination is the reduced range of motion of the affected finger.
The problems with stretching are usually more pronounced in the morning and decrease over the course of the day. The snapping finger is often accompanied by pain when stretching. In addition, with every “jerk” of the finger, a corresponding noise can occur as an acoustic indication that the finger is snapping.
Furthermore, the thickening of the tendon sheath that causes the trigger finger phenomenon can often be felt above the knuckle. As a result of the diagnosis, the patient is also examined for diseases that could have triggered the symptoms. An X-ray can rule out other causes of trigger finger.
A snapping finger initially causes severe pain. If the movement disorder is not treated, chronic symptoms can set in. In general, a snapping finger severely restricts the mobility of the hand. Accidents and falls can occur if the finger “jumps” unexpectedly.
This rarely leads to inflammation of the tendon sheath and nodular thickening. This occasionally results in circulatory disorders and other complications. In the case of longer-lasting illnesses, the trigger finger usually also has an effect on the mental state of those affected. In the majority of cases, the jerking is corrected by surgery.
However, if the triggering finger has existed for a longer period of time, a reduction in stretching may remain. In osteoarthritis patients, the procedure may have to be repeated or the symptoms can no longer be corrected with the help of an operation.
In general, complications such as severing a finger or thumb nerve can occur during surgery. Swelling and bleeding also pose a risk for the nerve. The use of painkillers is often associated with side effects. Allergic reactions to the agents and materials used cannot be ruled out.
When should you go to the doctor?
If you have this condition, you should see a doctor. Self-healing is not possible and the disease makes everyday life of the affected person significantly more difficult. In order to avoid further complications, a doctor should therefore be consulted at an early stage. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned suffers from severe pain in their fingers. This pain occurs even at rest without any particular reason and can also spread to the neighboring regions of the body.
Furthermore, the fingers are often severely swollen, so that the affected person can no longer move them properly and can no longer carry out work with them. A doctor should be consulted in particular if these symptoms do not go away on their own and last for a longer period of time. With this disease, a general practitioner or an orthopedist can be consulted. The further treatment then depends on the severity of the symptoms and is carried out by a specialist.
Treatment & Therapy
When treating trigger finger, the doctor has the choice between conservative methods and surgery. The appropriate treatment method is selected in accordance with the causes and the severity of the disease.
A mixture of an anesthetic and a decongestant represents a more conservative treatment option. This is usually chosen for the milder form of trigger finger. The doctor injects the preparations directly into the tendon sheath so that they can work locally. Used in this way, they bring about pain relief and a decongestion of the tendon sheath, so that the tendon can slide easily through it again.
Surgical intervention is necessary for more severe forms of trigger finger, since anesthetics and decongestants can only reduce the symptoms here, but cannot alleviate them entirely. During this procedure, the doctor opens the thickened tendon sheath so that the tendon has more freedom of movement again. Because it can be performed quickly and is minimally invasive, this trigger finger surgery is performed under local anesthesia.
While the hereditary form of trigger finger cannot be prevented, early detection of a metabolic disease that triggers it and its treatment can reduce the occurrence under certain circumstances. Overloading of the tendon sheath can be counteracted by avoiding one-sided movements and incorrect loading. Regular finger gymnastics can also help to prevent a snapping finger.
If the trigger finger is treated surgically, follow-up care is necessary afterwards. Since the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, the patient can return home afterwards. To avoid adhesions or adhesions of the flexor tendons or finger joint contractures, the supplied finger must not be loaded too early. However, slight movements are definitely desirable, which also depends on the individual pain situation.
An important measure after the surgical procedure is to elevate the affected finger. In this way, pain, swelling and bleeding are reduced. To combat the pain, the patient usually takes ibuprofen or diclofenac. In the acute phase, Novaminsulfone can also be administered as specified.
The day after the operation, the wound and the bandage are checked in the doctor’s office. The other dressing changes can also be carried out by the family doctor. The stitches are removed after 12 to 14 days. After that, no more bandages need to be applied. In cold water, the patient performs exercises with his fingers. The exposure to cold can reduce the pain. The cold water has a soothing effect. If cold water is not tolerated, lukewarm water can also be used.
You can do that yourself
The snapping finger, also called snapping finger, is harmless but very unpleasant. A lump on the tendon is preventing the tendon from sliding smoothly through the tendon sheath, or the tendon sheath itself is too tight. Above all, the feeling of having lost control of the finger in question is strange.
If the finger is not completely blocked, the doctors treating you will prescribe anti-inflammatory preparations such as cortisone. Alternatively, a hand surgical procedure can be used, in which the thickening is removed and/or the tendon sheath is widened. This operation does not involve major risks and is successful in most cases.
However, the affected patient can do a number of things themselves to calm a triggering finger. Orthomolecular physicians recommend taking a high-dose enzyme preparation that reduces inflammation and makes tendons and tendon sheaths more supple. High-dose enzyme preparations are available over the counter in pharmacies, but they are not cheap and must be taken for a few weeks before you can be sure of success. Not all health insurance companies cover the costs.
Another anti-inflammatory measure would be to switch to an alkaline diet. Meat, fish, sausage, cheese, cereals, sugar and alcohol must be avoided as far as possible. Instead, fruit, vegetables, salads, soy and whole grain products are recommended.