Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is usually first treated with rest and drugs to reduce swelling. In some cases, steroid injections may be used.
If this conservative approach doesn't correct the knuckle discomfort and locking or triggering of the finger that is characteristic of trigger finger, surgery may be needed.
Trigger finger is caused when the pulley that the tendon glides through during movement is too tight. Surgery releases the pulley, making more space for the tendon to move. The procedure is relatively simple and can be done on an outpatient basis.
Since the hand is a sensitive part of the body, you may have mild to severe pain after surgery. Your surgeon can prescribe pain relievers to make you more comfortable.
Your hand will be prevented from moving during your recovery. How long this will take and how soon you can go back to your normal activities depends on the type and extent of surgery and how fast you heal.
Your surgeon may recommend physical and occupational therapy under the direction of a trained hand therapist. Your therapy may include hand exercises, heat and massage therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, splinting, traction or special wrappings to control swelling.
Surgery is only the foundation for recovery. It's crucial that you follow the therapist's instructions and complete the entire course of therapy if you want to regain the maximum use of your hand.