You’re having a problem with your hand — specifically, one or more fingers or your thumb. Maybe you have a tender, painful spot at the bottom of the finger or thumb. Perhaps when you try to flex your finger, it sticks in a bent position. These may be describing a condition called trigger finger.
At Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Collierville, Tennessee, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and physical therapists specialize in treating your musculoskeletal system.
Most of the time, we can help resolve your painful trigger finger with conservative methods, including physical therapy.
What is happening in my hand when I have a trigger finger?
Tendons flex and bend, enabling you to extend your fingers fully and close them into a fist. The finger tendons are inside a sheath.
When a tendon becomes inflamed, it swells. Then it can’t slide back and forth in its sheath. You experience the problem when your finger or thumb sticks in one position and won’t extend to its full length.
Physical therapy for trigger finger
Physical therapy helps many patients with trigger finger. It can lessen pain, reduce scar tissue, and help prevent your finger from becoming immobile.
Tendons are poorly vascularized. Physical therapy helps calm pain and inflammation because it brings needed blood flow with healing nutrients to the muscles and tendons in your fingers and hand.
Your therapist evaluates the muscle strength in your hand. The muscles are likely very weak from an inability to move your finger.
Physical therapy strengthens your muscles and increases your range of motion. Your therapist has you start with gentle stretching exercises and eventually move to strengthening exercises. Both help your tendon glide smoothly again as you move your fingers.
If you eventually do need surgery, your doctor likely prescribes physical therapy after your surgery to speed your healing. At our practice, you save time and effort when you need physical therapy because we have our own expert physical therapists on staff right in our office.
Surgery for trigger finger
When conservative methods such as medication and rest, a splint, a steroid injection, and/or physical therapy haven’t given you significant relief, we perform a simple surgical procedure in which we ease the constriction of your tendon. You go home the same day.
The recovery period is 10-14 days, and then you have a follow-up appointment to remove your stitches.
Call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today for unexplained pain in your fingers or hand. We help restore motion!