Trigger Finger Surgery
What is trigger finger surgery?
Trigger finger is a common hand complaint that can leave the finger or thumb stuck in a bent position. It most commonly affects the 4th and 5th digits. Trigger finger surgery, sometimes referred to as tenolysis, is a successful trigger finger treatment that works by releasing the tendon, allowing the finger to move freely once again. Ordinarily, the finger tendons glide easily through small tunnels made by flexor tendon pulleys. If this pathway becomes irritated and the tissue thickens, the finger movement jams leaving the finger tendons stuck in position. Other symptoms include pain at the base of the finger, stiffness, and loss of movement.
If trigger finger cannot be resolved through gentle manipulation or steroid injections, your doctor may recommend surgery. During trigger finger release surgery, the top of the tunnel is cut open using a small incision. This release allows the flexor tendon to pass smoothly through and the finger can straighten without resistance.
It is a relatively short operation, and most patients experience a significant improvement in finger mobility and flexibility – particularly as the tendon grows back more loosely allowing more room to move for the future.
General recovery times
Recovery from trigger finger surgery will vary by patient and will depend upon the exact type of surgery performed and how many fingers were affected. You should be able to move your finger and experience a full range of motion soon after surgery. It is normal to experience some pain and soreness for a few days after the procedure and elevating your hand above your heart can help limit the swelling.
When you are discharged, your doctor will provide a personalised rehabilitation program with hand exercises to perform at home. Once your wound is healed, you can talk to your doctor about returning to sport. It can take a few weeks to recover from trigger finger surgery and restore motion to your fingers. You may experience some swelling and stiffness for up to 6 months after the operation.
Other hand surgeries and procedures
Common hand conditions
How much will my hand surgery cost?
Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:
What will my treatment and recovery look like?
Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.
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