Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Answers for Trigger Finger

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2011 04:27 PM


Question: What causes trigger finger? Is surgery the only remedy?

Dr. Hibberd’s Answer:

A trigger finger results from an injury to the supporting tissue of a tendon at the small finger joint closest to the nail (distal joint).

When an extensor tendon "slips" over its "groove,” it overrides the edge of the joint, which becomes locked, forcing the end of the finger into a flexed "trigger" position. Most of the time the finger can to be manually straightened, but any attempt to flex usually snaps the joint into a flexed locked position.

New onset trigger finger often related to fracture or disruption of the cartilage/bone junction at the distal finger joint is usually treated with splinting. Occasionally, this condition may be related to erosive arthritic disease, and the treatment offered also will involve treating the predisposing disorder. Splinting failure is corrected with hand surgery to stabilize the tendon and will reduce further damage and loss of joint function.





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