- Trigger Finger & Trigger Thumb
- Trigger Finger
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Our knowledge of orthopaedics. Your best health.
Trigger Finger & Trigger Thumb
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First things first: if your thumb joint is swollen, hot, and inflamed you should seek medical care immediately , as this could be a sign of a severe infection. In a normally functioning hand, tendons run through sheaths or pulleys to the fingers to make them bend. With trigger thumb, medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis , the tendon sheaths a tunnel-like structure that holds the tendon to the bone become inflamed and thickened, making it difficult for the tendon to smoothly glide through the sheath to bend the affected finger. As a result, the affected digit becomes stiff and painful, with most people feeling a locking or catching feeling when they bend their thumb. Trigger thumb is a progressive condition, meaning it can get worse if not treated. Early symptoms of trigger thumb include painless clicking when moving the thumb.
Wondering why you might experience a painful click when you bend a finger or thumb? Find the answers to questions that pique your curiosity in our series, The Short Answer.
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These pulleys hold the tendons close to the bone. This is similar to how a line is held on a fishing rod Figure 1. Trigger finger occurs when the pulley becomes too thick, so the tendon cannot glide easily through it Figure 2. Trigger fingers are more common with certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis , gout and diabetes. Repeated and strong gripping may lead to the condition.
Trigger Finger Overview - Mayo Clinic
The tendons act as cords that pull your fingers down into a fist and then relax as you straighten the fingers. Think of the tendon as a line on a fishing rod and the pulleys as the eyelets that keep the line in contact with the rod as it bends and straightens. A knot in the line may make the line catch as it is pulled through the eyelet. If the knot keeps getting larger or the pulley gets tighter, eventually it will be too large to slide back in the other direction and the line will be stuck. They simply get too large to move back and forth through the pulleys. Possible causes of trigger thumb are rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes or an injury to the base of your thumb.
Our knowledge of orthopaedics. Your best health.
Normal joints consist of two smooth, cartilage-covered bone surfaces that fit together as a matched set and glide against one other. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis in the hand, in addition to osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the cells that line and normally lubricate the joints synovial tissue. This is a systemic condition can affect the whole body , which means that it may affect multiple joints, usually on both sides of the body. The joint lining synovium becomes inflamed and swollen and erodes the cartilage and bone.
The ring finger is often one of the fingers affected. The condition is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. Tendons are bands of tissue that attach muscles to bones. In the hand, tendons and muscles must work together to flex and straighten your fingers and thumb. Usually, tendons slide easily through a tunnel of tissue called a sheath. The sheath keeps the tendons in place next to the bones of the finger s or thumb.
Rest assured that the most common causes of finger-popping are not a problem at all. Many people can make their fingers pop, often called cracking their knuckles. The sound you hear is thought to be caused by air bubbles moving in the fluid that surrounds your joints. That being said, if your noisy finger joints are associated with pain or swelling, it's good to see your doctor for an evaluation. Tendon snapping is usually the result of a trigger finger. The tendons in your fingers are like ropes that attach to the ends of your fingers. When your forearm muscles contract, the tendons pull the fingers into a fist.