The tendons that bend your fingers run through a tunnel or sheath. Trigger finger is caused by a thickening on the tendon catching as it runs in and out of the sheath. The most common cause is tenosynovitis. You can often feel this swelling in the palm as you move the finger.
This is needed if a steroid injections did not work, or only released pain for a while. It involves a small procedure ( about 10 minutes ) under Regional anaesthesia. A slit is made in the mouth of the sheath to prevent the tendon catching at this point.
The condition can happen in any finger and therefore the triggering may return in other fingers.
Hand elevation is important to prevent swelling and stiffness of the fingers. Please remember not to walk with your hand dangling, or to sit with your hand held in your lap. Hand movement should be continued and you should perform normal light activities after the operation.
You will be discharged with a small dressing. Please remove the entire dressing after 48 hours and inspect the wound. There obviously will be some swelling and bruising. Look out for any redness or tenderness in the area around the wound which might indicate an infection. Stiches can be removed after 1 week.
You can drive a car after 1 day as long as you are comfortable and have regained full finger movements. Timing of your return to work is variable according to your occupation and you should discuss this.
Any operation can be followed by infection and this would be treated with antibiotics.
You will have a scar on the palm. This will be somewhat firm to touch and tender for 6-8 weeks. This can be helped by massaging the area firmly with the moisturizing cream
The nerves running to the fingers can be damaged during the surgery and cause numbness in part of the finger. This complication is very rare and the nerve would be repaired immediately.
About 5% (1 in 20) of people are sensitive to hand surgery and their hand may become swollen, painful and stiff after any operation (algodystrophy). This problem cannot be predicted but will be watched for afterwards and treated with physiotherapy.