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Triggered by Trigger Finger?

On any given day, we utilize our hands for many different actions at work, home, and sports activities. Hands are so important that the main function of our shoulders and elbows are to position our hands in space for gross motor and fine motor movements.  Hands have many small bones, joints, ligaments and tendons working together to support a seemingly infinite number of actions.  Hands are constantly working, performing many alternating repetitive and unique activities over the course of each day. Additionally, our hands are extremely sensitive and yet strong.  Able to perform the most simple and complex tasks.  This is why hand injuries like sprains, fractures, and tendon injuries are both painful and can take a long time to recover from and get back to normal functioning.

Some recent examples of hand injuries seen at Sports Health Northwest include:




Trigger finger is a common condition caused by abnormal movement of a thickened, sometimes inflamed, or swollen flexor tendon as it glides within its tendon sheath through the first annular pulley, which may also be narrowed and thickened.  Trigger finger causes pain, catching, and/or locking of the affected digit. Treatment is typically conservative, including rest, splinting, and oral and topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  Corticosteroid injections are usually considered when conservative management is not effective or function is impaired. 

Although corticosteroid injections (CSI) can be effective at relieving symptoms they have to be utilized with caution as unwanted adverse effects, such as fat atrophy and hypopigmentation of the skin and elevated blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes mellitus can occur.  An injectable NSAID such as ketorolac at the level of the first annular pulley could avoid these adverse effects and may be more effective in treating trigger finger.

As described above, these unique and painful hand injuries involve a joint, tendon, and/or bone related injury to the hand.  While treatment and expectations for recovery vary from person to person and injury to injury, At Sports Health Northwest, we want to help you recover from your hand injury and get you back to the sports and work activity you enjoy and rely on.

Dr Westerdahl David Westerdahl MD FAAFP RMSK Sports Medicine Physician and owner Sports Health Northwest, Inc.

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