Why does this occur? Normally the tendons that bend the fingers pass through a tunnel that holds them attached to the finger bones. For some reason, the tendons form lumps that catch as they pass through the narrow passages of the tendon tunnel.
This condition usually occurs near the crease in the middle of the palm of the hand, and the patient feels pain in this area as well as over the top of the finger. Frequently, the clicking and locking becomes worse overnight, but as the patient uses the finger more and more during the day, the symptoms improve.
Treatment of these clicking fingers involves either cortisone injections or surgery. When cortisone is injected around the tendon, it can cause the lump in the tendon to become smaller, at least temporarily, which alleviates the symptoms.
Should this treatment fail, trigger finger release surgery, which enlarges the narrow part of the tunnel, is indicated. This allows the lump to pass freely back and forth through the narrow area, resulting in normal motion. Trigger finger release is highly successful in terms of "curing" this condition; in fact, many patients and hand surgeons prefer to proceed directly to surgery, since it is simple, safe, and more effective than cortisone injections. Once again, however, cortisone injections can be performed as an office procedure, while trigger finger release requires an operating room.
On to: Ganglions
Return to: Southeastern Hand Center Home page