Published by Bupa's Health Information Team, July 2011.
This section contains answers to common questions about this topic. Questions have been suggested by health professionals, website feedback and requests via email.
It's possible that trigger finger could re-occur after you have had surgery to treat it, but this is unusual.
Trigger finger occurs when one of the tendons in your finger, which usually allows it to bend, catches as it passes under a ligament (the A1 pulley) at the base of the finger. This can cause a clicking sensation as you bend your finger and sometimes your finger can get stuck (locked) in a bent position.
If you have surgery to treat trigger finger, your surgeon will release the tendon from the area that it's catching on. Surgery is a very effective treatment and is usually a permanent solution to the problem. However, if symptoms do come back, it’s important to talk to your doctor or surgeon.
If you need to have a bath or shower, it may help if you cover the dressing with a plastic bag to keep it dry.
You will have a dressing put on your hand to cover the wound after the operation. The dressing should stay on and the wound kept dry for the first five days after the operation. A small dressing will stop the stitches catching on things and keep the area clean. Stitches are usually removed around 10 days after your operation, and a dressing isn't usually necessary after this.
To help keep your dressing dry, try putting your hand in a plastic bag and sealing it with tape at one end while you have a shower or bath. Raising your hand while you’re in the bath or shower will also help to prevent the dressing from getting wet.
No, your finger and hand should work as normal after you have had surgery to treat trigger finger.
Surgery to release the tendon by dividing the ligament at the base of the finger does not cause any problems with movement or use of the finger.
You should be able to resume light activities, such as typing, about a week after surgery. Intensive keyboard use and heavier manual activities will take several weeks.
It usually takes about three to four weeks to make a full recovery from trigger finger release surgery, but this varies between individuals, so it's important to follow your surgeon's advice.
When you do start to type again, it’s important to take regular breaks. Although there is little evidence that trigger finger is caused by work activities, such as typing, light use is recommended until your hand is fully recovered.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.
Publication date: July 2011
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