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Trigger finger is an uncomfortable condition in which a digit catches, clicks and becomes stiff and difficult to move. Trigger finger is painful and can affect the function of your hand. The London Clinic provides trigger finger release surgery by world-renowned orthopaedic surgeons and a comfortable, stress-free environment in which to recover.

The London Clinic’s specialist surgeons work in state-of-the-art operating theatres. They are assisted by an expert multidisciplinary team to support you during treatment and throughout your rehabilitation.

What is trigger finger?

Trigger finger or stenosing tenosynovitis is a condition in which one or more of the tendons in the fingers or thumbs become inflamed. They can't slide smoothly within their fibrous sheath, and it becomes progressively more difficult to move and bend the digit. The thumb or finger can become stuck in the bent position, then suddenly pop free with a click. 

The thumb, ring finger and little finger are more at risk of trigger finger. As the condition develops, it can restrict movement and make it difficult to use your hand effectively.

The London Clinic provides expert assessment of hand problems and the latest surgical techniques to reduce pain, release trigger finger and restore function. 

Treatment options

Not everyone with trigger finger needs surgery. The condition can settle without treatment, and conservative treatments can also ease discomfort and free-up movement. The London Clinic offers comprehensive care for trigger finger. Treatment options include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Rest and movement modification
  • Splints to support the finger
  • Steroid injections to decrease swelling and inflammation

The London Clinic provides expert assessment and investigation of your hand so that you can access the best treatment to resolve your symptoms. 

Trigger finger consultation at The London Clinic

Our experienced surgeons will assess and advise you in The London Clinic’s comfortable and well-equipped consulting rooms. They will take a detailed medical history, examine your hand, and ask about the impact your symptoms have on your wellbeing and function.

They may arrange investigations in the cutting-edge imaging suite. These could include:

  • X-ray
  • Blood tests to look for other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes

In consultation with you, they will then plan your surgery. They will take the time to answer all your questions and address any concerns.

Trigger finger release at The London Clinic

The orthopaedic surgeons at The London Clinic usually perform trigger finger release surgery under local anaesthetic. However, regional blocks and general anaesthetics are also available. It is typically a day case procedure, meaning you won't need to stay in hospital overnight. 

The consultant can use two techniques. They will recommend the right procedure for your individual circumstances:

Open trigger finger release

The orthopaedic surgeon will make an incision in the skin on the palm of your hand. They will carefully cut into the sheath that surrounds the tendon. Dividing the fibrous structure frees the tendon, eases movement and prevents triggering. 

Finally, the surgeon stitches the wound closed and applies a dressing and bandage.

Percutaneous trigger finger release surgery

In this minimally-invasive procedure, the orthopaedic surgeon inserts a needle into the tendon sheath. The needle divides the fibrous tissue and opens up the space so that the tendon can slide smoothly. Percutaneous trigger finger release offers less scarring, fewer complications and quicker recovery time.

Recovery and aftercare

Most people can go home on the day of surgery. The London Clinic's team will provide support as you recover and arrange follow-up to assess your progress.

Your consultant will tell you when it is safe to get back to work and normal activities. Most people with a non-physical, desk job can return to work straight away. However, people who perform manual work may need four weeks to rest and recover.

Pain is usually minimal; taking regular over-the-counter painkillers can help relieve any discomfort. The surgeon will monitor your progress and may recommend specialist physiotherapy, particularly if you had significant stiffness and movement restriction before surgery. The London Clinic team will always be on hand if you have any problems or worries.

Frequently asked questions

What causes trigger finger?

We don’t fully understand the cause. However, women, people in their forties and those who have had a hand injury are more at risk. Trigger finger is also more common in people with some conditions including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Dupuytren’s contracture and an underactive thyroid. 

Can trigger finger resolve without treatment?

Yes, the condition can settle without surgery. Rest, anti-inflammatories, splints and steroid injections can help ease symptoms and reduce triggering.

Are there complications after trigger finger release surgery?

All surgery has risks. The surgeons and The London Clinic team are dedicated to reducing complications and helping your recovery. Problems with pain, bleeding, scarring, and infection can happen after any operation. 

Specific issues with trigger finger surgery are uncommon. They include recurrence of the problem, nerve damage, stiffness and ongoing pain. Speak to your surgeon if you have any concerns. They will always take time to discuss the pros and cons of the procedure and answer any questions.

When can I drive?

Your surgeon will let you know when you can drive. In general, you can start when you feel it's safe. Usually, this is 3 to 5 days after surgery. People who have had minimally-invasive surgery typically recover more quickly.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world- renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is a HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments. An All-Inclusive Package for this treatment is available from £3,290.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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