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.