Trigger finger or trigger thumb can be a painful and aggravating condition. While it can often be cured with steroid injections, some fingers require a minor procedure to alleviate the pain and catching.

Trigger finger surgery is done under light sedation using intravenous medications such as propofol and a local anesthetic injection. A small, 1-1.5 cm incision is made in the end of the palm, just at the base of the finger, or in the flexion crease at the base of the thumb. The tendon sheath and tunnel system, or pulley, are identified, and a surgical knife is used to cut the start of the pulley system, alleviating the constricture and triggering.

Once the release is done, the patient is allowed to awaken from the sedation and is asked to bend and straighten the finger to make sure no more catching or triggering occurs. Don’t worry – the finger has been numbed and there is no pain!! This confirms that the trigger finger has been appropriately taken care of. 2-3 sutures are then placed, and a small dressing is put over the incision.

The patient can remove the dressings 3 days after the procedure and use a small bandage to keep the wound covered. They are asked to move the fingers immediately after surgery and usually complete a short course of therapy.

If your fingers or thumb are catching or triggering, please call Dr. Timothy B. Larson, MD at 940-299-HAND to schedule an evaluation.