Usually the initial treatment includes the following:
- avoiding activities or movements that make the pain worse
- avoiding prolonged, repetitive or strong gripping of objects
- avoiding extreme bending of the finger
- avoiding gripping of equipment or tools that are narrow and slippery as they require more force to hold onto
- pain relief
- anti-inflammatory medication, such as NSAIDs
- use of a splint to keep the finger in a neutral, resting position.
If those measures have been tried and haven't not been successful, treatment such as steroid injections or surgery may be recommended.
Steroid injections involve the injection of cortisone medications such as triamcinolone, dexamethasone or methylprednisolone directly into the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation (swelling) and pain. You may need to use a finger splint to help rest the finger for a few days after the injection. Steroid injections are usually effective. However, it will take a few days to a few weeks for the steroids to work.
Read more about steroid injections.
Surgery will only be recommended after 2 unsuccessful steroid injections or for people with severe symptoms. You will be referred to a plastic or orthopaedic surgeon. Surgery for trigger finger is done under local anaesthesia. A cut is made through the tendon sheath to widen it so that your finger can move freely again.
Talk to your doctor to find out which treatment is the best for you.