Trigger Finger / Thumb Surgery

There are three primary surgical methods employed to treat Trigger Finger: percutaneous release, open surgery, and arthroscopic surgery.

  • Percutaneous Release: In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the tissue around the affected tendon. Without making a large incision, the surgeon uses the needle to break apart the constriction that’s impeding the tendon.
  • Open Surgery: This traditional surgical approach involves making an incision in the palm of the hand to gain direct access to the tendon sheath. The surgeon then cuts the constricting part of the tendon sheath.
  • Arthroscopic Surgery: This less invasive method involves the use of a tiny camera (arthroscope) inserted through a small incision, allowing the surgeon to see and cut the constricting part of the tendon sheath.

Expected Surgery Outcome

Surgery is highly effective in treating Trigger Finger. Most patients experience a significant reduction in pain and an increase in finger mobility after recovery. However, it may take a few weeks or months to regain full function, depending on the severity of the condition before surgery.

Potential surgery complications and risks

Despite the high success rate, complications can arise from Trigger Finger surgery. These may include infection, nerve damage, stiffness, or recurrence of the condition.

Risks

  • Infection: There’s always a slight risk of infection following any surgery. Appropriate care of the surgical wound can substantially reduce this risk.
  • Nerve Damage: It’s possible for nerves near the surgical site to be unintentionally damaged during the procedure.
  • Stiffness: Some patients might experience stiffness in the finger or hand post-surgery. Regular physiotherapy can help overcome this.
  • Recurrence: In rare cases, Trigger Finger might recur, necessitating further treatment.

Recovery after surgery

After surgery, the patient’s hand is typically bandaged with a light dressing. It’s important to keep the wound dry for 48 hours to prevent infection. The patient should move their fingers soon after surgery to reduce stiffness. Physiotherapy might be recommended to restore finger strength and flexibility. Full recovery varies among individuals but generally takes a few weeks to a few months. During recovery, some pain, stiffness, and weakness might be experienced, but these conditions generally improve with time.