Can a trigger finger injection help without surgery? SM is a young elderly woman who is a bus driver. Through the years she developed triggering and catching when she moved her middle fingers. She became unable to flex that finger more than about half way and noticed her fingers locking and catching more in the morning. She tried two blind cortisone trigger finger injections which lasted a few months to help the pain, but didn’t help the finger locking.
Three weeks ago an Interventional Orthopedics procedure allowed this patient to avoid surgery through a specialized trigger finger injection. In the picture above, you can see his needle cutting the scar tissue around the A1 pulley. This pulley is a lot like what it sounds like, a pulley that magnifies and controls the force of the flexor tendon (rope) that bends the finger. To understand this better, think of a rope and pulley. The system when fully functional is smooth, but what if the metal pulley was dented? The rope might have a hard time passing through the damaged pulley. The same thing can happen in your finger – a damaged A1 pulley can cause locking of the finger and “triggering” as the flexor tendon (rope) goes through the pulley. The pulley is normally repaired through surgery, but now we can use Interventional Orthopedic techniques to fix the pulley and break up the scar tissue through an injection without surgery.
The result? By the next morning this patient had full range of motion and no further triggering and went right back to work without any bracing. She’s doing great at two weeks out! The upshot? Why undergo more invasive surgery when your trigger finger can be fixed through an ultrasound guided injection?
NOTE: A Trigger Finger Injection is a medical procedure and like all medical procedures has a success and failure rate. Not all patients experience the same results.