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KenRice
09-10-2012, 12:54 AM
Anyone suffer from trigger finger? My middle finger often gets stuck in the down position and I am usually unable to get it straight unless I use my other hand to pry it up. I am definitely not a good player but as my finger has gotten worse its started to affect my ability to play.

Questions:
Is there any remedy beside surgery for this?
Is it destined to get worse?
It is much better on certain days and I have not been able to pinpoint why. Any ideas?

Thanks for any help you may be able to share.

sillymonky
09-10-2012, 02:05 AM
Sorry to hear that. I don't know much about it, or about alternate treatments, but my mother (a seamstress) has had the operation on 9 of 10 fingers (or she might be at all 10 now - I've lost count). Just wanted to say that from her experience, the surgery goes well, is outpatient, and you recover from it relatively quickly. So, if you do need to go that way, it's apparently not terrible.

kenikas
09-10-2012, 06:29 AM
I had one done recently, as well a carpal tunnel surgery on both hands. The trigger finger surgery is pretty simple, but my doctor told me once you have one the chances you will develop it in other fingers is about 95%. Mine was pretty much back to normal in a couple of weeks. But the carpal tunnel surgery is another story, take care of your hands and avoid that by any means! It's been several months and I'm just getting the feeling back in my left hand finger tips, fretting is a real pain when you have to look to see where you fingers are since you can't feel them!

Chap
09-10-2012, 06:34 AM
I have this as well, my doctor said the first option is to live with it, the second is steroid injections, and the third is surgery. So far I've been living with it, but it is slowly getting worse.

coolkayaker1
09-10-2012, 06:52 AM
I have this as well, my doctor said the first option is to live with it, the second is steroid injections, and the third is surgery. So far I've been living with it, but it is slowly getting worse.

Yes, to the above. Avoiding the offending activity is the first step, however. How long? Until it's completely gone.

KenRice
09-13-2012, 08:05 AM
Thanks for the replies. It's not what I hoped to hear but I really appreciate the information. I guess 40 years of judo affects totally unrelated areas of your life.

katysax
09-13-2012, 12:24 PM
I have a different trigger finger problem. I see a ukulele for sale and my finger hits the "buy" button before I've taken the time to determine whether its really a good idea.

PedalFreak
09-13-2012, 12:58 PM
I have a friend who use to do acupuncture. He said he use to treat carpal tunnel and trigger finger with acupuncture. He said he doesn't know why people have surgery when they don't need it. He had numerous people he treated that never had an issue with either after treatment.

So I'd recommend if anyone is having issues with either to give acupuncture a try :)

wendellfiddler
09-13-2012, 02:35 PM
I play fiddle, banjo, uke, guitar, chromatic harmonica and the most evil finger damaging instrument of all - mandolin. I had surgery for trigger finger after a year of shots and rest - the shots worked once, but it came back. My surgeon told me that the sooner you get the shot the better chance of it working - and if one doesn't work you try again, but it seem like if once doesn't work your most likely gonna need the surgery. For me, the swelling got so bad I couldn't bend my finger, let alone unbend it. I recovered pretty quickly from the surgery, but some stretches on the violin took about six months to feel comfortable.

For me, thank goodness I could play chromatic harmonica - I was able to get by in my band that way for a couple of months until I had the surgery. I was playing fiddle again within about 2 weeks of the surgery - albeit gingerly.

I would recommend the shot at the first sign of it as it might keep it in check forever - the tendency is that the longer you have it the more aggravated the condition becomes. Check the web pictures of what causes it and how the surgery works. The shot reduces the inflammation enough so that the tendon can heal and begin to slide through the sheath without catching and aggravating the problem.

Doug

mm stan
09-13-2012, 03:02 PM
Is it on your fretting hand....bummers good luck, accupunture sounds like a good first try to me too before evasive surgery....

Pondoro
09-13-2012, 03:26 PM
I had it on one finger, it got worse when I started playing the uke, I had the surgery and it fixed it. I had injured that finger so I am hoping none of the other fingers develop it.

'ili puakea
09-13-2012, 05:14 PM
I had it years ago. I was working two jobs at the time and didn't have time to deal with it, so I just lived with it. It cleared up without any medical intervention in a few months. My fingers are functioning normally today.

coolkayaker1
09-13-2012, 05:49 PM
I play fiddle, banjo, uke, guitar, chromatic harmonica and the most evil finger damaging instrument of all - mandolin. I had surgery for trigger finger after a year of shots and rest - the shots worked once, but it came back. My surgeon told me that the sooner you get the shot the better chance of it working - and if one doesn't work you try again, but it seem like if once doesn't work your most likely gonna need the surgery. For me, the swelling got so bad I couldn't bend my finger, let alone unbend it. I recovered pretty quickly from the surgery, but some stretches on the violin took about six months to feel comfortable.

For me, thank goodness I could play chromatic harmonica - I was able to get by in my band that way for a couple of months until I had the surgery. I was playing fiddle again within about 2 weeks of the surgery - albeit gingerly.

I would recommend the shot at the first sign of it as it might keep it in check forever - the tendency is that the longer you have it the more aggravated the condition becomes. Check the web pictures of what causes it and how the surgery works. The shot reduces the inflammation enough so that the tendon can heal and begin to slide through the sheath without catching and aggravating the problem.

Doug

Doug's right. Plus, cease the offending activity.

beautifulsoup
08-15-2013, 08:26 AM
Resurrecting an old thread.

It seems I have trigger thumb for the first time (fretting hand); just got back from the Doc. Today's Thursday - it manifested last Friday night, and I wasn't able to get an appointment until today!

I got a steroid injection (about three hours ago), and I'm afraid to try to move my thumb too soon. I asked when I should try, and he said "whenever."

Hoping this will work; rest, too, of course. No uke for a while (although he says it has nothing to do with it ??), and I'm kinda worried about playing piano - part of my JOB! :(

Has anyone had experience with wearing a splint for this condition?



Oh well - On the bright side: I can still sing, learn songs, memorize lyrics, and work on strumming; right?

jbm
08-15-2013, 09:04 AM
Started having trigger finger and pain with my left thumb about 4 or 5 months ago. Could hardly put pressure on my thumb enough to play a bar chord. Doctor said arthritis and suggested steroid injection. Thought I would research a little before having that done. After about 1 month of using food grade diatomaceous earth the trigger clicking is gone. Inflamation is down considerably and I can easily play bar chords again. The stuff is very cheap and worth a try.

BTW also good for nail strength.

Appalachian picker
08-15-2013, 01:19 PM
I'm NOT your doctor, but only an Occupational Therapist that works closely with hand surgeons in the conservative and also not-so conservative treatment of trigger fingers.

Conservative treatment: Splinting the first joint of your finger to force rest can sometimes do the trick. It will for sure prevent overnight locking. The problem is that many times people have to use the splints for months or longer.

Aggressive treatment: Steroid injection into the hand at the level of the "sheath" or more technically the "A1 pulley." Some docs will administer up to 3 injections before they recommend a surgical fix. Overuse of steroids can cause soft tissue problems, so best to listen to the docs advice if the shots don't work. Surgery is the final option. I've read about some surgeons doing this procedure in an office setting with local anesthetic only. Others take you to the OR for the simple, short procedure. The docs I work with prefer the post op patient to move the finger gently within the first 5 - 7 days to prevent stiffness and scar adhesions. Once the sutures come out, there are typically very little restrictions, other than to not over do it.

Trigger fingers and arthritis are not related, but many times confused with each other.

imagesinthewind
08-15-2013, 05:24 PM
I had trigger thumb for a while. Would wake up and my thumb would be all clicky. I stopped crocheting for about 3 weeks and it went away. Try giving the hand a break, and that might do the trick. Haven't had a click in many months.

As for DE being good for nail strength, the only thing good for nails is blood. Massage lotion into your cuticles a couple times a day. The massage will cause better blood circulation, the lotion will cause soft cuticles that won't crack and the nail beds and gel keratin that your nails are made of will get the benefit of extra blood. All the rest is nice stuff laid on top of a soft nail. You're born with hard or soft nails, and nothing but blood/circulation will help strengthen. I'm a nail tech, for 20 years....all the rest is plecebo.
Go get that lotion, good luck with the finger!

Ukejenny
08-16-2013, 10:15 AM
I developed mild trigger finger with both my pregnancies. I hope it doesn't come back.

haole
08-16-2013, 06:58 PM
It started in my right thumb about a month ago and gets worse by the day. I doubt my insurance will cover any effective treatment, so I'm just hoping it will go away on its own.

I'll Fly Away
08-21-2013, 08:23 AM
Is it on your fretting hand....bummers good luck, accupunture sounds like a good first try to me too before evasive surgery....

Hope not....evasive surgery sounds like a VERY bad thing--much more so than invasive surgery, lol.

wendellfiddler
08-21-2013, 01:22 PM
Cotisone shots work well. It doesn't tend to go away on it's own, but you never know. I've had it - did the whole trip - shots, then surgery. In most people it only gets worse if you don't get treatment. What the docs told me was the sooner you get the shot, the better chance of it working. It's caused by inflammation that then becomes a mechanical problem (my non-medical summary). The surgery is usually successful if one or more shots don't work. I highly recommend pursuing treatment ASAP.

Doug

wendellfiddler
08-21-2013, 01:26 PM
Resurrecting an old thread.

It seems I have trigger thumb for the first time (fretting hand); just got back from the Doc. Today's Thursday - it manifested last Friday night, and I wasn't able to get an appointment until today!

I got a steroid injection (about three hours ago), and I'm afraid to try to move my thumb too soon. I asked when I should try, and he said "whenever."

Hoping this will work; rest, too, of course. No uke for a while (although he says it has nothing to do with it ??), and I'm kinda worried about playing piano - part of my JOB! :(

Has anyone had experience with wearing a splint for this condition?



Oh well - On the bright side: I can still sing, learn songs, memorize lyrics, and work on strumming; right?

Splint didn't work for me (finger) or my wife (thumb). Cortisone shots worked well for my wife so far (she's a harpist). Shots worked for me temporarily, but not permanently. I had to get surgery but was able to play stringed instruments within a week of the surgery - which I had not been able to do for at least two months prior.

Doug

Sporin
08-21-2013, 02:14 PM
Not trigger finger, but playing the ukulele has seemed to greatly aggravate/accelerate the previously-manageable carpal tunnel that I've had for 20 years. It's worse now then it has ever been as I have lost feeling in a couple of fingertips for days on end.

I'm trying to avoid surgery by getting massage therapy and doing other non-invasive treatments (which thankfully is free for me) but I'm not sure it will work.

Good luck with however you proceed for treatments, I empathize.

IamNoMan
10-03-2014, 12:51 PM
I had one done recently, as well a carpal tunnel surgery on both hands.... But the carpal tunnel surgery is another story, take care of your hands and avoid that by any means! It's been several months and I'm just getting the feeling back in my left hand finger tips, fretting is a real pain when you have to look to see where you fingers are since you can't feel them!

I had the same experience with cubital tunnel - pinky and ring finger tingling/numbness. Except that after surgery the tingling/numbness never went away.:(

Ukuleleblues
10-05-2014, 05:12 PM
My Doctor said to "massage the tendons" before I started playing. Just kind of rub vigorously the offending finger with your other hand to warm it up. It worked for me.

Ukecaster
07-31-2018, 12:03 PM
I seem to have the dreaded trigger finger. Both middle fingers, but left hand (fretting) is way worse. Picture this...you play a G chord, then when you lift to switch to a different chord, your middle finger is stuck in the G position, and you need to stop and straighten until it clicks/pops straight again. I really hate this, some days are better than others, but gonna have to see the doc. Basically can't play uke here on my vacation, trying some ant-inflammatiories and web exercises now. If no dice, I'll drink more in the meantime.

Uke Don
08-01-2018, 07:29 AM
I seem to have the dreaded trigger finger.

Sorry to hear it. I've had two bouts of it. A cortisone injection fixed it both times. First time my regular GP did the injection, second time they sent me to a specialist. He did the injection, but said if it happens again to just go with the surgery. Said it was simple and would be a permanent fix. Best of luck with your treatment.

captain-janeway
08-01-2018, 08:25 AM
I seem to have the dreaded trigger finger. Both middle fingers, but left hand (fretting) is way worse. Picture this...you play a G chord, then when you lift to switch to a different chord, your middle finger is stuck in the G position, and you need to stop and straighten until it clicks/pops straight again. I really hate this, some days are better than others, but gonna have to see the doc. Basically can't play uke here on my vacation, trying some ant-inflammatiories and web exercises now. If no dice, I'll drink more in the meantime.

I've ended up with surgery on 4 fingers to date and bilateral. I had first surgery 10 years ago and no problems since. No problems on any of them. It will degrade over time whether you have short term solutions or not. The surgery's outpatient, and you just need to be nice to your hand about 6 weeks to let it heal up (possibly no playing). All my fingers work now. Good luck

Kenn2018
08-01-2018, 12:37 PM
Ibuprofen is a good anti-inflammatory, if your stomach can handle it.

I know this is after the fact, but do your stretches and warmups before playing. Try to use the least amount of pressure necessary to get a clean fretting. (I have read that guitar players have a tendency to push too hard.) If necessary use heat to relax your tendons. The pianist Glen Gould used to soak his hands in hot water for 20 minutes before every performance.

These are all preventative measures though.

I'd try acupuncture before having the surgery. Far less chance of complications than surgery. I have no idea about exercises or physical therapy for the problem.

My biggest problem is osteoarthritis in my fingers. Gotta keep em moving to prevent them from stiffening.

Good luck. I hope you have a positive result with whatever path you choose.