What is Arthritis Trigger Finger?
The medical term for trigger finger is “stenosing tenosynovitis.” It refers to a condition where any of your fingers or thumbs snaps or locks regardless of whether your hand is open or closed.
Causes and Risk Factors
Tendons act as cords attaching our muscles to our bones. Every single one of your tendons are covered with a protective sheath (a covering that surrounds living tissue.)
A trigger finger will occur when the finger’s tendon covering is irritated and inflamed. When this happens, the natural sliding motion of the tendon through the sheath is compromised.
Persistent irritation and inflammation of the tendon sheath eventually cause scarring, thickening, and formation of nodules (bumps under your skin). The eventual result is that the tendon’s movement is hampered.
What Puts Me At Risk For Trigger Finger?
Several different things put you at a higher risk of developing arthritis trigger finger.
If you have job or hobby that involves repetitive hand use and gripping, you have an increased risk of developing trigger finger.
People who have arthritic diseases, i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, have a higher risk of developing trigger finger. Trigger finger is also common in individuals who have osteoarthritis (OA).
Your Sex and Age
Women and people over 60 appear to be at a higher risk of developing trigger finger.
History of Surgery On Your Hand, Wrist or Fingers
Research shows that individuals who have had prior surgery on a hand, wrist or finger also have an increased risk for development of trigger finger.
One 2015 review from researchers out of the State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, looked at 792 carpal tunnel release (CTR) surgeries and found 6.3% of the patients had developed new onset trigger finger after CTR.