Trigger Finger and Treatment Options [Video]

Ask the Expert: Hand Video Series

About the video: What is trigger finger and what are my treatment options?

Non-surgical forms of treatment for trigger finger will often totally relieve your symptoms. If surgery is needed, active movement of your finger will generally be encouraged immediately after surgery. Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ hand specialists Blake Hildahl M.D. and Debra Parisi, M.D. discuss these different treatment options.

Meet Dr. Blake Hildahl

Dr. Hildahl’s approach: “No operation should be carried out unless absolutely necessary… nor should a surgeon operate unless he would undergo the same operation himself in similar circumstances.” — Joan Hunter

Dr. Hildahl’s background: Dr. Hildahl completed the majority of his medical training throughout Wisconsin. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, he attended medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Following his residency at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he completed the Hand and Upper Extremity fellowship program at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Meet Dr. Debra Parisi

Dr. Parisi’s approach: “Injuries to your hand, wrist and elbow are very disruptive. After figuring out what’s going on I’ll tailor a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and allows you to get back to essential activities and the activities you love to do.”

Dr. Parisi’s background: Dr. Parisi earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Economics at Duke University. After completing her undergraduate degree, she continued onto Medical School at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. In medical school, Dr. Parisi reasoned that cardiology or radiology would complement her engineering background. She completed her Residency at New York University, Hospital for Joint Diseases.  Following medical school and residency, Dr. Parisi completed a fellowship focused on surgery for upper extremity conditions.

Summit Orthopedics provides personalized hand and wrist expertise

The function of our hands integrates through our wrists and arms to our shoulders; a problem anywhere along our arm may have a significant impact on hand function and quality of life. If you experience an injury or uncomfortable symptoms, our fellowship-trained hand and wrist surgeons are here to help. Summit physicians receive the highest levels of training and exclusively provide individualized care for conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow.

Start your journey to better function and less pain. Find your hand expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNVadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Video Transcription

So trigger finger is when the tendon that goes to the tip of the finger is getting caught. So, the fingers move like a pulley system. So, the muscles are up in the forearm, and then there’re little strings that go to the tip of the finger that pull the finger down. Sometimes that string gets inflamed versus the little pulley system it runs through. And then it gets caught, like a little ball getting caught going through a sheath. And every time it goes through, it clicks. And when it gets worse it gets stuck on one side. In some people, it can be painful; and other people, they just have a catching sensation. We see it more commonly in the aging population, although you can see it in anyone. It is a little bit more common in people who have diabetes or thyroid disorders or smokers. The way we treat trigger finger is through several different approaches – again, depending on what the patient is more comfortable with. I typically recommend trying a series of cortisone injections. The cortisone can help bring down the swelling around the tendon and allow the tendon to once again glide smoothly. We can also try therapy or oral anti-inflammatory medications. And if all those things fail, then the last option is surgery, where we go in and we make a little cut in the entrance of that tendon sheath. It widens the entrance and allows the tendon to glide smoothly back and forth.

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  • Blake Hildahl MD

    Blake Hildahl, M.D., ATC

    “No operation should be carried out unless absolutely necessary… nor should a surgeon operate unless he would undergo the same operation himself in similar circumstances.” – John Hunter

    More about this expert

  • Debra Parisi MD

    Debra M. Parisi, M.D.

    “Injuries to your hand, wrist and elbow are very disruptive. After figuring out what’s going on I’ll tailor a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and allows you to get back to essential activities and the activities you love to do.”

    More about this expert

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