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Do I Need Physical Therapy After Trigger Finger Surgery?

Do I Need Physical Therapy After Trigger Finger Surgery?

May 22, 2023
By Next Level Physical Therapy

Trigger Finger Surgery & Rehabilitation

Trigger finger is a nuisance injury, sometimes caused by repetitive actions, that can affect one or more fingers in a hand. If left untreated, it can cause affected fingers to curl permanently, making some tasks difficult. Patients with a more severe form of the disorder need minor surgery to correct it.

At Next Level Physical Therapy in Santa Clarita, California, our staff understands the importance of treating trigger finger injuries effectively and efficiently. Contact us at (661) 383-9828 to schedule an evaluation with one of our physical therapists.  We’ll work with you to evaluate your post-surgical condition and determine the best treatments to get your finger back to full working condition.

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a condition resulting from a thickening of the tendons that helps the fingers to move, forming a thickening or nodule. The pulley ligament may thicken as well, causing the area to swell. Several factors can cause trigger finger, including rheumatoid arthritis, partial tendon laceration, repeatedly gripping tools or grasping a steering wheel. Infection or damage to the synovium, the area’s soft tissue lining, can cause nodules to form.

Trigger Finger Symptoms

Trigger finger can occur in any finger, including the thumb, and can affect multiple fingers. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

The following are common trigger finger symptoms:

  • Finger stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Popping or clicking when bending the finger
  • Catching sensation when the bent finger suddenly straightens
  • Inability to straighten the finger
  • A bump or tenderness at the finger’s base

A finger that is inflamed or hot to the touch may mean that an infection is present, so it’s essential to see a doctor for diagnosis and to rule out other conditions.

How is Trigger Finger Treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may want to try several non-surgical therapies to relieve the condition, such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce pain
  • Activity modification to ease the tendon
  • Finger splints to wear at night to keep the finger straight and rest the tendon
  • Steroid injections to decrease inflammation around the tendon, allowing it to move freely again

What Happens During Trigger Finger Surgery?

Trigger finger surgery, also called tenolysis, is a reasonably simple procedure usually done on an outpatient basis. The procedure, performed under local anesthetic, takes about 20 minutes. An orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision in the palm to cut the tendon sheath, releasing the tendon to improve function. Patients have stitches and incur some pain after the surgery.

Recovery from Trigger Finger Surgery

Recovery is straightforward. As soon as surgery is over, patients can move their fingers gently. After several days, you can remove the dressing and keep the site clean. Some patients experience mild swelling, pain, or stiffness for up to six months post-surgery.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Post-surgery physical therapy is beneficial for increasing the mobility in your fingers and thumb, especially if they have remained locked for some time. Various techniques can help encourage the tendon’s normal gliding motion and speed your recovery. Your therapy plan may include gentle range-of-motion exercises, fine motor control and dexterity improvement, sort-tissue massage, hands-on stretching, and exercises to strengthen and stabilize the hand’s muscles and joints.

Schedule Your Post-Surgery Therapy in Santa Clarita

Don’t let trigger finger stop you from doing the activities you love. The therapists at Next Level Physical Therapy will devise a personalized treatment plan that will improve your range of motion, reduce pain and speed your recovery. We understand that every patient has different needs. Contact us today at (661) 383-9828 to schedule your appointment and start your journey back to total physical health.

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