Trigger Finger/Thumb
Signs and Symptoms


 

2) Signs and Symptoms:  Patients with this condition often complain of a catching or locking sensation in the affected digit during flexion and extension.  The patient usually also experiences pain in the affected digit.  The patient may complain that they have to stop daily activities because of the pain or mechanical "locking" symptoms.  The pain is usually localized to the base of the affected digit on the palm side.  A subtle swelling may be present over the painful tendon.  The pain is aggravated by stretching the tendon.

- Possible causes - The cause is uncertain;  however, the condition may be brought on by repetitive gripping actions or with pressure over the palm.  This is theorized to cause swelling and inflammation of the fibrous tendon sheath.  The decreased space through which the tendon now travels causes swelling and inflammation of the tendon itself, and once the swelling reaches a point where smooth gliding of the tendon through its sheath is no longer possible, the digit begins to catch or lock.  The diagnosis is made with the characteristic history and physical examination (physician observation of the triggering).


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