“Trigger finger” is more formally known as stenosing tenosynovitis. It is a painful condition in which an individual is unable to move a finger or thumb out of a bent position. As with most orthopedic conditions, non-surgical methods are typically the first line of treatment. Non-surgical treatments for this condition include resting the affected finger, getting steroid injections, wearing a splint at night or taking anti-inflammatory medications. In cases where these treatments have limited success, trigger finger release surgery may be needed to resolve the condition.
What is the Goal of Trigger Finger Release Surgery?
Essentially, the purpose of this procedure is to add space for the flexor tendon to move in the affected finger. Once more space is created, the patient should be able to move and bend his/her finger freely without pain.
There are two main types of trigger finger release surgery: open and percutaneous release surgery. Both are generally considered to be very safe and effective, and both have relatively short recovery times. Open surgery is done through a small incision in the palm and has a very low risk of complications. This makes it a slightly more preferred choice in many cases. Still, percutaneous release surgery is sometimes a better option because it is done with a needle and therefore does not create a wound. However, it should be noted that this procedure does come with a small risk of damage to the nerves or blood vessels near the tendon sheath.
Recovery Time for Trigger Finger Release Surgery
The exact recovery timeline will differ from person to person. There are some general guidelines that you should keep in mind when considering surgery for trigger finger release:
- – For the first few days after surgery, you’ll most likely be instructed to wear a bandage to keep the area clean and dry. During this period, you can use an ice pack and medication prescribed by your orthopedic surgeon to control your pain. As often as possible, prop your hand above your heart to keep swelling down.
- – Most patients who undergo surgery for trigger finger release are able to drive within a few days of having the procedure done. It may take longer depending on your individual healing rate.
- – To aid in your recovery, your surgeon may advise you to do certain exercises at home or go to physical therapy.
- – You should wait until you receive approval from your doctor to resume your normal activities. Typically, patients can get back to playing sports and doing other activities in about 2-3 weeks. You may have to wait a bit longer to make sure your wound is fully healed.
- – In total, the recovery time for trigger finger release surgery can be anywhere from three to six months. Keep in mind that it will likely take you longer to recover if you have surgery on more than one finger at a time.
Now that you are familiar with the basics of surgery for trigger finger release, you are better prepared to decide if you may be a good candidate for this procedure.
Visit Dr. Soffer for Compassionate Orthopedic Care
If you suspect that you may be suffering from trigger finger, don’t keep living with pain. Seek care from an expert orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Stephen Soffer. When you come to Dr. Soffer, he will offer you the most cutting-edge techniques available to help you return to your normal lifestyle as quickly as possible.
If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Soffer, call our office at 610-375-4949. And for details on rotator cuff surgery and what to expect during recovery, visit our recent post. We look forward to making your acquaintance and helping you heal.