What is Trigger Finger Release?
Trigger Finger Release, or Tenolysis is a surgical procedure used to treat Trigger finger. Trigger Finger is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and a sensation of catching or locking when you flex your fingers or thumb.
The affected digit gets stuck in a crooked position, and it becomes hard to move it. Trigger finger is common in the fourth finger and thumb; however, it can affect other fingers of the hand as well.
Who Needs Trigger Finger Release Surgery?
Individuals who have been diagnosed with Trigger finger and are experiencing the following symptoms are eligible for a Trigger Finger Release Surgery:
- Intense pain when bending or straightening the affected digit.
- Complete inability to move the affected digit.
- It is making carrying out everyday tasks difficult.
Symptoms have not been alleviated even after the administration of non-invasive treatment options such as Splinting, NSAIDs, and Corticosteroid injections.
How is Trigger Finger Release Surgery Performed?
There are two types of Trigger Finger Release Surgeries:
- Open Trigger Finger Release Surgery.
- Percutaneous Trigger Finger Release Surgery.
Open Trigger Finger Release Surgery
- Local anesthesia is administered.
- The surgeon makes an incision in the palm of the hand. Usually, the incision is made alongside the natural creases in the palm to make the scar less noticeable.
- The surgeon widens the tendon sheath by cutting through it carefully.
- The wound is sutured closed and covered with a light bandage.
Percutaneous Trigger Finger Release Surgery
- Local anesthesia is administered.
- A needle is inserted into the skin of the affected digit.
- The surgeon guides the needle to slice through the ligament and reach the tendon sheath.
- The tendon sheath is widened, and the needle is retracted.
Which Surgery is More Effective?
According to experts, Open Trigger Finger Release is more effective than Percutaneous Trigger Finger Release Surgery. The percutaneous surgery is riskier because it can damage the nerves and arteries running close to the tendon sheath. However, if performed by a skilled surgeon, the surgery has its benefits:
- No surgery scar.
- Faster healing time.
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What Will Happens If a Trigger Finger Is Not Treated?
- If you leave your trigger finger untreated, the affected finger may become permanently bent, which will make everyday tasks difficult.
- In most cases, trigger finger only affects one finger; however, if left untreated, it is possible that several fingers become affected.
Can Trigger Finger Heal on Its Own?
- If the condition manifests suddenly after a particular activity, it may go away on its own.
- If the condition becomes painful and stays for more than six weeks, or if the patient is diabetic, surgical treatment is required.
How Long Does It Take for Trigger Finger Surgery to Heal?
- The Trigger Finger Release surgery is a highly successful procedure; 99% of patients regain complete movement of their digit after the surgery.
- The patient can move their finger immediately after surgery. The dressing is removed after a few days, and complete movement returns two weeks after the surgery.
- In case of an open procedure, the palm may feel sore for a few days. The doctor prescribed physical therapy, and light hand exercises may speed recovery.
Do You Need Physical Therapy After Trigger Finger Surgery?
- It is very important to start exercising your finger to avoid stiffness, exercises should be carried out several times a day, and are most important during the initial four weeks after the surgery.
- Hand physical therapy sessions focus on improving grip and flexibility of the fingers; they are usually recommended.