trigger finger surgery

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nightflight
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:05 pm
Location: Chicago region, USA

trigger finger surgery

Post by nightflight » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:27 am

Has anyone here had surgery for trigger finger? Curious how it went, what recovery time was, etc. Of course it isn't covered under my health insurance (orthopedic surgeons don't tend to take the insurance that is available to me, so I'll have to pay out of pocket). But that aside, I'm understandably nervous and have been putting it off for a while. Would appreciate any info anyone can share. Thank you in advance.

I should say my trigger finger is on the 3rd finger of my left hand. It isn't severe but does cause stiffness and sometimes my finger clicks. Occasional it locks up and this is painful. I had one cortisone shot several years ago... it helped for about a year, but the condition returned. I have badly injured my left hand/wrist a number of times in the past, and even with the surgery, I may not gain full mobility after surgery. But I'm hoping it will be an improvement and that recovery would be fairly rapid.

beanctr
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Location: Coastal, NC

Re: trigger finger surgery

Post by beanctr » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:43 pm

I had trigger finger in my right thumb. It wasn't too bad for a while, then it started swelling and getting painful. I had a cortisone shot or two.
I had the surgery done at a local clinic by a plastic surgeon who specialized in hands. Its actually a very simple operation, in fact, if you look a YouTube I believe you can see one. Hand was wrapped up for a week or so, recovery was pretty quick. Just a small scar now and no pain. rick
"Guitar Hobbyist"

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: trigger finger surgery

Post by Rick Beauregard » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:17 pm

My doctor recently diagnosed my trigger finger. I mentioned I play guitar. He wrote, “livelihood depends on playing guitar”, which is not inaccurate. We haven’t progressed to resorting to surgery yet, or sought insurance coverage. But I’m hoping his nuanced diagnosis makes a difference to the insurance co.
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lagartija
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Re: trigger finger surgery

Post by lagartija » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:55 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:17 pm
My doctor recently diagnosed my trigger finger. I mentioned I play guitar. He wrote, “livelihood depends on playing guitar”, which is not inaccurate. We haven’t progressed to resorting to surgery yet, or sought insurance coverage. But I’m hoping his nuanced diagnosis makes a difference to the insurance co.
Yes his nuanced diagnosis does help. When I broke my left radius at the wrist, I told the attending physician that it was my dominant hand and that I put together very small delicate scientific instruments for a living. His reply was..” I will write a referral for you to see a hand specialist.” At that time, my insurance required a referral from a primary care physician in order to see a specialist. The specialist made sure everything was just right and that the break would heal without any compromise in dexterity.
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otirroz
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:20 am
Location: Vina del Mar, Chile

Re: trigger finger surgery

Post by otirroz » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:05 pm

Hello nightflight,

As a result of over practicing when I first started learning classical guitar, I ended up with trigger finger on the index and middle fingers of my left hand and the ring finger of my right hand. I had three cortisone shots at the base of each of the problem fingers spaced six months apart, and ended up curing the problem on two of the three affected fingers. Incidentally, the three doctors involved all concurred independently that three is the maximum number of cortisone shots for this condition without risking permanent tissue damage. The index finger on my left hand had surgery. As "beanctr" mentioned the operation is a fairly simple out-patient procedure. My hand was also wrapped up for a couple of weeks, and while recovery took a bit longer than beanctr's, the finger is 100% healed, with full mobility, only a small scar and no pain.

Good luck,
Otirroz

nightflight
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:05 pm
Location: Chicago region, USA

Re: trigger finger surgery

Post by nightflight » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:03 am

All, thank you. This is encouraging.

Unfortunately, it seems most orthopedic surgeons around here don't work with many insurance companies (and the choices are very limited on the marketplace this next year), so I may be looking at paying out of pocket (I've already priced the procedure). I'm also considering going back to work full-time for a few years, to improve my insurance situation.

I've only had one cortisone shot. My orthopedic surgeon said he's of the opinion that if one shot doesn't correct the condition, then another one won't. Another orthopedic surgeon said he does two injections. Oddly two of the doctors insist I have tendinitis, not trigger finger, when what I have is textbook trigger finger (corroborated by a 3rd doctor). I've had the condition going on 3 years now, and am not making impulsive decisions.

Interestingly, when I practice I start slowly. I work up my speed in about 10 minutes and playing really helps flexibility.

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otirroz
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Location: Vina del Mar, Chile

Re: trigger finger surgery

Post by otirroz » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:54 pm

Hello again nightflight,

All of your doctors are correct: trigger finger is a type of tendinitis which develops in the tendons which bend the fingers. Good luck whichever way you choose to go.

Otirroz

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