What is Trigger Finger?
Trigger finger is a “snapping” or “locking” condition affecting any digit of the hand. The triggering results when the finger goes from a flexed to an extended position. During this action, the tendon will lock up at a certain point, requiring greater force to be applied to straighten the digit. When this happens, there’s an audible or palpable click that happens. In some cases, the finger must be straightened manually with the other hand, also producing the clicking sensation.
Trigger finger is related to an inflammatory condition involving one of the flexor tendons. When the tendon is inflamed within its tunnel, a nodule can develop. This nodule, in turn, may get caught underneath a ligamentous arch as the tendon tries to glide through its normal path. Aside from the clicking sensation, other symptoms can include pain and stiffness. If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, a permanent flexed posture of the finger may result. This is especially true in the growing child.
Surgery to correct a trigger finger is relatively straightforward. A small incision is placed at the base of the finger where the locking is occurring. The tight ligament (ie, pulley) is released with instant relief of the symptoms. This is typically an outpatient procedure and takes no more than 10 minutes per involved finger. In some cases, a trial of steroid injection is possible to help relieve the triggering without surgery, but there is still a high rate of recurrence with this option. It is not recommended in children.
Why choose Dr Panossian
- He received his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine.
- Graduated at the top of his class at UCLA, receiving Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude honors.
- Was accepted into an elite combined general surgery and plastic surgery residency at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
- Completed subspecialty training in craniofacial surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Harvard Medical School.
- Was mentored by Dr. Ron Zuker in the practice of facial paralysis reconstruction. This prestigious fellowship position was available to only one surgeon in the United States.
- Is affiliated with various charitable and educational organizations, including Operation Smile and Mending Kids.
- Is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the highly selective American Association of Plastic Surgeons, reserved for only a select group of individuals nationally who have demonstrated excellence in academic plastic surgery.
- Holds memberships in several other professional societies including the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery.
- He serves on the Board of Directors for Mending Kids and the Gondobay Manga Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of lives in Sierra Leone.
- Has been nominated by his peers annually since 2012 as a “Super Doctor.”
- Served as an expert medical consultant and appeared on The Doctors, Grey’s Anatomy, and Nip/Tuck.
- Has been featured as “Top Doctor” in US News and World Report, Pasadena Magazine, and Los Angeles Magazine.
Last modified by Dr. Andre Panossian