Hand and Wrist

The hand and wrist are made up of many different bones, muscles and ligaments that enable a wide range of movements to perform many functional capabilities.

Your wrist is made up of eight small bones known as the carpal bones. These bones support and give your wrist flexibility, and connect your hand to the two long bones in your forearm known as the radius and the ulna.

The eight carpal bones can be grouped into 2 groups: the upper and lower area of the wrist

  • Upper area (closer to the wrist): Pisiform, Triquetrum, Scaphoid and Lunate
  • Lower area (closer to the hand): Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate and Hamate

 

Each finger consists of a metacarpal bone and 3 phalanges, while each thumb consists of one metacarpal bone and two phalanges.

Trigger Finger

WHAT IS TRIGGER FINGER?

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which one of your fingers gets locked in a bent position. A trigger finger occurs due to inflammation in the flexor tendon. Flexor tendons facilitate the bending movement in your fingers, and they attach the muscles of the forearm to the finger bones. The flexor tendons pass through a tunnel called the tendon sheath, which is located in the palm and fingers. The tendon sheath allows for smooth movement when the finger bends and straightens.

Hence when there is an inflammation in the flexor tendon, the space within the tendon sheath in the affected finger gets narrowed, resulting in a trigger finger.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TRIGGER FINGER?

Symptoms of a trigger finger include:

  • Finger stiffness, after periods of inactivity such as in the morning
  • A popping or clicking sensation with finger movement
  • Tenderness or a lump in the palm at the base of the affected finger
  • Finger may be locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS OF TRIGGER FINGER?

Some risk factors of trigger finger are:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis increase your risk of getting a trigger finger
  • Repeated gripping activities increase your risk of getting a trigger finger
  • Gender (women have a higher risk of getting a trigger finger)

WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS OF TRIGGER FINGER?

A history of the injury and a physical examination of your hand will be conducted by the Doctor. He will check on the motion of your hand and get you to bend your fingers. He will look out for a the swelling of your tendon sheath and if any pain is present.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TRIGGER FINGER?

Depending on your condition, treatment options will vary. Nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Resting your hand
  • Wearing a splint at night
  • Gentle stretching exercises
  • Medications to relief pain and reduce inflammation, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen)
  • Steroid injections such as corticosteroid injected directly into the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation

 

Should nonsurgical treatments fail to alleviate your trigger finger symptoms, surgery may be recommended. During surgery, the part of your tendon sheath that is affected will be cut via small incisions made at the base of the affected finger.

 

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