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Trigger Finger Surgery

  • What is trigger finger surgery?

    Trigger finger surgery

    Trigger finger surgery is done to release the tendon from the sheath when it is causing pain or the finger becomes ‘locked’. It is a minor procedure that can be performed as day surgery with local anaesthetic. The surgeon will make a small cut into the palm of the hand and release the tendon from the part of the sheath it was catching on. Surgery is almost always successful and normal use of the hand will be regained upon recovery.

  • Your surgeon will recommend a trigger finger surgery if:

    • All other types of treatment have not worked to treat your condition.
    • Your finger is locked or permanently stuck.
    • You have diabetes. Using steroids in people with diabetes may lead to increased blood sugar levels. Thus, surgically treating trigger finger may be recommended if you have diabetes.
    • You have rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Your condition worsens over time and makes you unable to grasp things.
    • Your condition prevents you from performing daily tasks, work and hobbies.
  • Preparing for trigger finger surgery

    If you are scheduled for a trigger finger surgery, you need to prepare for the procedure by doing the following:

    • Make sure someone will accompany you during the surgery. You will be given anaesthesia and pain medication during a trigger finger surgery. It is not safe to go home on your own after the procedure.
    • Follow your doctor's instructions regarding food and drink restrictions before your trigger finger surgery.
    • Let your doctor know about the medications and supplements you are currently taking. You may be asked to hold certain medications like blood thinners.
    • Prepare the things you will need after surgery such as ice packs and medications. You may ask your doctor about what you need to prepare for your recovery.
    • Make sure you have no nail polish. Do not apply lotion or perfumes before the surgery.
    • Do not wear jewellery during the procedure. It will be best to leave your valuables at home.

    During a trigger finger surgery

    Before the surgery, a small flexible tube (IV) will be inserted into your vein to provide you with fluids and medicine during the procedure. You will also be given local anaesthesia to numb the area to be operated on.

    Trigger finger surgery typically take less than an hour. Your doctor may perform any of these two types of trigger finger surgery:

    • Open Surgery – The surgeon will make a half inch incision on your palm. Then, the surgeon will cut the tendon sheath. Stitches will be done to close the cut.
    • Percutaneous release – In this procedure, there is no need for incision. After numbing your palm, your doctor will insert a needle into your skin. With the help of ultrasound imaging, the doctor will use the needle to break up the blocking tissue around the tendon sheath.

    After a trigger finger surgery

    After your surgery, you will be asked to stay in the recovery room about 1 to 2 hours before heading home. Your health condition will be monitored to make sure you are stable and comfortable.

    A thick bandage will be wrapped around your hand, wrist, and finger. You should be able to move your finger right after surgery. Your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief and to reduce inflammation.

    Recovery period for trigger finger surgery

    Just like any other surgeries, you will likely feel some minor pain and discomfort after surgery. For several days, your finger and entire hand may feel sore and be difficult to move. You may feel numb or feel a tingling sensation near incision area which is normal. However, consult your doctor if your condition does not improve after a few days.

    Do not allow your hand to get wet until you have your doctor’s approval. Cover your hand with plastic to keep the bandage dry.

    1 – 2 weeks after the surgery, your doctor will remove the stitches. It may take several months before you completely heal. If you still feel pain after that, you may be required to do several hand exercises or undergo physical therapy.

    Returning to work a day after the surgery is possible if your job does not require using the hand. However, if your work entails a lot of finger movements and lifting of things, you may need to take time off for at least 6 weeks. Ask your doctor can how much time you need to fully rest from work.

    To help relieve your post-surgery pain and make your recovery faster, do the following:

    • For a faster recovery, get enough rest and sleep.
    • While there is no restriction in your diet, you should try to eat a balanced diet. If you have an upset stomach, go for low-fat, bland foods like broiled chicken and toast.
    • Take medicines exactly as directed by your doctor, especially if you were prescribed antibiotics. Continue your medication even as you feel better. You need to complete the full course of your antibiotics.
    • Keep your hands clean, but don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in cleaning. Change the bandage daily.
    • If needed, undergo finger and hand therapy. This will help you bring back the normal motion, strength, and grip of your hand.
    • Place a cold pack or ice wrapped in thin cloth on your hand for about 10 to 20 minutes. Doing this every 1 to 2 hours for the first 3 days after the surgery will help prevent swelling.
    • Prop up your hand on a pillow anytime you sit or lie down during the first 2 or 3 days after surgery. Try to keep the hand above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
    • Make sure to attend your medical check-ups after the surgery.

    Risks/complications of trigger finger surgery

    Trigger finger surgery is a safe procedure. However, just like in other surgeries, there is a risk of complications that may arise from a trigger finger surgery. Call your doctor or seek emergency care if you experience any of the following:

    • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Coughing up blood
    • Change of colour of your hand or fingers
    • Numbness or tingling sensation in your hand or fingers
    • Inability to move fingers
    • Pain that does not improve after taking pain medicine
    • Loose stitches
    • Heavy bleeding in the area of incision
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth or redness
    • Pus coming from the area of incision
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Fever
  • Orthopaedic health is one of Mount Elizabeth Hospitals' areas of expertise. Our team of orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists and occupational therapists work together to diagnose and treat your condition.

    If you are diagnosed with Trigger Finger, one of the treatments that our specialists may consider is Trigger Finger Surgery. This procedure is done to release the tendon from the sheath when it is causing pain or the finger becomes ‘locked’. At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, our medical team will assist you at each step of the surgery towards your recovery. To complement this expertise, we are equipped with the necessary technology and equipment for Trigger Finger Surgery.

    Take your first step towards healing and recovery by making an enquiry or appointment with us.

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  • Our Specialists

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    • Alan Cheung

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      International Orthopaedic Clinic
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #05-24
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6253 7111
    • Anandakumar S/O Vellasamy

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Centre For Foot And Ankle Surgery
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-34/35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6684 5828
    • Andrew Quoc Dutton

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Elite Orthopaedics Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #12-10
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      6836 8000
    • Ang Chia Liang

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery
      Sub-specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery - Sports Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Centurion Orthopaedic Centre
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #08-35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6970 5835
    • Ang Kian Chuan

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthosports Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-41
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6734 8168
    • Antony Gardner

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthopaedic Associates
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #11-49/50/51
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6334 0622
      Clinic:
      Orthopaedic Associates
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #16-03
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      62358755
    • Aravind Kumar

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Centre For Spine And Orthopaedic Surgery
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-33/34/35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6684 5828
    • Bell David Paul

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthosports Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-41
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6734 8168
    • Bose Kamal

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Bose Bone, Joint & Spine Clinic
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-12
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67387155
    • Chan Beng Kuen

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthopaedics International
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #06-03
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67376386

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