Trigger finger is a painful condition where one of your fingers or even your thumb gets stuck in the bent position and may suddenly ‘snap’ back into a straight position. It is usually caused by a swollen tendon and the name of the operation to release your finger or thumb and allow it to move freely once again – is the trigger finger release.
You might be surprised to learn that this is a very common problem and the trigger finger release is a popular operation on the Gold Coast.
One of Dr Hartley’s hand surgery specialities is Trigger finger release, which is a fairly quick and simple procedure. You might have already tried many non-surgical treatment options, which have failed to resolve your trigger finger condition.
So if your symptoms have persisted for six months or more and your quality of life is being adversely affected by your trigger finger, Dr Hartley may recommend that you undergo trigger finger release surgery, which releases the tendon that is causing the problem.
Trigger finger release is considered as day surgery and your recovery time is fairly short.
These are your post-operative instructions from Dr Hartley for the period following your trigger finger surgery.
There are five questions we are often asked by our patients:
Should I move or exercise after trigger finger surgery?
How long do I leave my dressings on my hand after trigger finger surgery?
What pain relief medication can I use after trigger finger surgery?
How long until I can drive again following trigger finger surgery?
How long before I can return to work after trigger finger surgery?
We will answer these questions in turn below:
Yes, gentle exercise following your trigger finger surgery is important. So please perform gentle movements of your fingers on the hand where the trigger finger release was performed, for the first few days following your surgery. Early finger movement is crucial to a good recovery.
Your hand will be bandaged with a padded crepe following your surgery. If you wish to take a shower, tape a plastic bag over your bandage and hold your hand above your head to prevent water dripping inside your dressing.
Keep your dressings on for at least 48hrs following your surgery. If your dressings become very loose or dirty, they can be removed, but it is important to leave the sticky dressing on underneath.
Your fingers may be numb for up to 24 hours after your trigger finger release, due to the use of a local anaesthetic during your operation. The numbness usually resolves fully overnight, but it is not uncommon for it to persist, in part or completely, for several days.
If you require pain relief, please take simple analgesics, such as Panadol Osteo and do not forget to take your own medications prescribed by your doctor.
As a general rule, expect at least a week without being able to drive. You can drive when you can lift a two litre carton of milk, pour out some milk and return the carton to the table in a controlled fashion.
Your return to work will be largely determined by what you do with your hands at your place of employment and whether the operation was to your dominant hand. A return to clerical duties can easily occur within a few days of surgery, whereas it can be several weeks before returning to a manual job.
Cigarette smoking (even just one or two) can affect how quickly it takes for you to heal and the rate of complications following a trigger finger release. Dr Hartley strongly recommends that you do not smoke for at least one month after surgery.
For more information on what to do after trigger finger release surgery, please call our receptionist - Annie Thomas on 1300 447 563 or complete our online enquiry form.