Information Regarding Trigger Finger Release
- You are scheduled for a Trigger Finger Release. The procedure is performed to alleviate locking or triggering of your finger. The swollen tendon catches as it glides under the pulley or sheath. The sheath over the tendon is released allowing normal motion of the finger. The swelling in the tendon will improve over the first few weeks following surgery.
- The procedure is performed by making a small incision in the palm of your hand. The tendon sheath is located and under direct visualization the sheath is released. Once the sheath is released the tendon is manipulated to ensure that there is no further locking or catching. You will not need a general anesthetic for the procedure. Usually you will have some sedation and the surgeon can injection local anesthetic into the palm.
- Before surgery, you will need to obtain clearance from your regular doctor if you have medical problems. You may be required to obtain some basic tests for screening before the surgery. Basic blood tests, a chest x-ray, and an EKG may be required depending on your health.
- Most people are quite satisfied with the relief provided by the procedure. In some cases, you will still notice stiffness in the involved finger. Therapy can be helpful to decrease the swelling and improve function. There are always risks with any surgery. The most common complications after trigger finger release include infection, hypertrophic or thick scar tissue, and stiffness.
- After surgery, you will be discharged home in a soft dressing. The dressing may be removed 2 to 3 days after surgery. You can get the hand wet in the shower or under running water in the sink. After showering you should place a bandaid over the incision. Please do not apply any ointments or creams on the sutures. You will see your surgeon or PA 10 to 14 days after surgery in the office where the stitches will be removed. Your surgeon may refer you to see a Hand Therapist for supervised therapy postoperatively or you will be provided with a set of exercises you can do at home on your own.
- Your return to work depends on your profession and the availability of light duty. Generally, light office work, typing, writing, and using a computer are acceptable even a few days after surgery. No heavy lifting or forceful gripping with the operative hand is permitted until at least 6 weeks after surgery.
- Call your surgeon if you have an elevated temperature greater than 101.5 degrees, redness, or drainage from the incision site as this may be indicative of a wound infection.
- If you are running low on pain medication after surgery and anticipate the need for more, please call your doctor’s office during regular office hours (8am to 5pm Monday – Friday).
- For more information about trigger fingers and its treatment, click here.