What is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that occurs when the tendon sheath surrounding a finger's flexor tendon becomes inflamed. This inflammation causes the tendon to swell and press against the finger's tip. The result is that your finger can no longer bend or straighten correctly.
Trigger finger is most common in people over 50 but can occur at any age.
What are the causes?
There are several causes of trigger finger, including:
- Friction from repetitive motion (such as typing)
- Injury to the hand or wrist
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disorders
What happens during trigger finger release surgery?
Trigger finger release is a surgical procedure that involves the cutting of the tendons that cause the fingers to stick. The surgery is designed to relieve pain and restore movement in the affected finger. Trigger finger release is usually performed under local anaesthesia in an outpatient setting. The surgeon makes a small incision at the base of your finger to release the tendon. This allows the tendons to return to their normal position and reduces pain.
How long is the recovery?
The recovery period after trigger finger surgery generally takes about six weeks. You'll be asked to keep your hand elevated while it heals and take anti-inflammatory medications as your consultant prescribes to reduce swelling and pain.
What is a Ganglion Cyst?
Ganglion cysts, or ganglia, are non-cancerous clusters of nerve cells found anywhere in your body. While they are usually harmless, they can cause complications if inflamed or infected.
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that contains a small piece of tissue and forms around a joint or tendon sheath. It's usually painless and does not require treatment. But some people may experience swelling, redness and tenderness in the affected area.
The most common locations include the wrist and fingers, particularly near the base of the thumb joint; on the outside of the wrist around the elbow or at its base; at the back of the wrist on the palm side of your hand on top of your foot and around your knee.
What are the causes of ganglion cysts?
The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, but several factors may increase your risk of developing one. These include:
- Age – Ganglions are more common in adults than children
- Trauma – Traumatic injury to the joint may cause a ganglion to develop
- Improper movement – Repeatedly lifting heavy objects may cause soft tissues to swell and become inflamed
- Ganglion cysts – are not painful unless they become infected or rupture. However, they can be unsightly or interfere with proper joint function if they become large enough to distend the skin covering them.
What are the treatment options?
- Surgery: Ganglion cysts can be removed with surgery, which may require local anaesthesia and some types of intravenous sedation. The recovery period is usually two to three weeks.
- Laser treatment: Laser treatment involves using a laser to destroy the tumour without damaging surrounding tissue. This option requires local anaesthesia or intravenous sedation and has a recovery period of six to eight weeks.
- Radiofrequency ablation: Radiofrequency ablation is another option for treating ganglion cysts by destroying the tumour’s blood supply and causing it to shrink. This procedure does not require anaesthesia or sedation and has three to four weeks of recovery.