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Trigger finger release surgery is a technique used to cure "trigger finger", which is a condition of the tendons of the hand. When a swelling on a tendon blocks it from sliding through its narrow channel, the finger(s) are prevented from being fully extended.

The first step in treatment is usually a steroid injection, such as cortisone, to decrease the inflammation. Surgery can be performed if steroids do not control the condition or acute "locking" occurs. This surgery is considered to be very safe and effective and commonly will fully cure the condition. This can usually be done on an outpatient basis.

Usually, an anesthetic is used to numb the portion of the hand where the surgery will occur. The doctor will make a small incision in the hand, open the tendon channel so the tendon can slide easily through, and then close the incision with stitches.

What do I do after surgery?
Keep the hand elevated as much as possible for several days. Typically you can remove the dressing in three days. Keep the incision clean and dry. If any swelling, increased pain, drainage from the incision site, redness around the incision, or fever is noticed, report this immediately to the doctor.

Physical therapy may or may not be ordered.

What is the expected outcome of a Trigger Finger Release?
This is usually a very successful surgery. The finger should move freely once the post operative swelling has disappeared. In some instances triggering may reoccur or triggering can occur in other fingers.

What complications may occur?
As with any surgery, infection and bleeding are possible. You will have a scar in the palm of your hand. This might be tender and hard for up to 8 weeks after surgery. Massaging with a moisturizing cream may help.There is a very small chance of nerve damage during surgery, if this would happen the nerve would be repaired right away.