Diagnosis - Hand Surgery

Trigger digit (stenosis tendovaginitis)

Trigger digit is an illness that affects the tendons of the hand, most commonly at the base of the thumb or pointer finger. Tendons are fibrous bands that attach muscles to bones, thereby facilitating movement. In trigger digit, either the tendons themselves or their enclosing sheaths can become inflamed and swollen, thereby impeding the normal movement in the affected joints. This inflammation is often due to repetitive strain or pressure being placed on a part of the tendon. At the base of each finger and thumb, the tendons pass through a ring-like ligament (annular ligament), which holds the tendons in place. When the tendons become swollen in the trigger digit, they press against the annular ligaments, which can cause pain ath the base of the fingers or thumb, particularly during flexion in the affected joints. Moreover, when flexing the affected fingers or thum, the fingers may become `stuck`in the flexed position, due to the swollen tendon becoming lodged under the annular ligament. In this case, the affected person may need to use their healthy hand to straighten the fingers again. In mild cases of trigger digit, conservative treatment with medication and rest is sufficient. In more severe cases of trigger digit, operative therapy may be required. This usually involves removing the annular ligament in order to give the tendons more space.



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