Trigger thumb is a condition affecting the flexor tendon. Once the condition arises, the pulley closest to the palm ends up swollen and limited. The tendon could not smoothly glide through the tunnel and resistance triggers irritation and development of a nodule on the tendon. The affected thumb ends up stuck in a flexed position.
Common indications of trigger thumb
Pain or discomfort
The pain from trigger thumb is usually felt at the base of the palm and generally worse upon waking up in the morning or after periods of inactivity. The site at the base of the palm might be tender.
Rigidity and stiffness is likely to occur in the morning. The finger becomes flexible and easier to move as the day passes. The pain worsens if the swollen tendon moves through the constricted sheath and there is a popping sensation.
If the catching sensation deepens, it feels as if the finger is disrupted once the tendon moves into the tunnel. An individual with trigger thumb might keep the thumb bent to lessen the pain.
Cortisone injections to reduce the swelling that is followed by bracing can briefly help, but the condition might recur.
Trigger thumb might cause swelling that can be tender to the touch at the base of the thumb. A small lump or nodule can also be felt along the tendon. The nodule develops on the tendon due to constant pressure of the tendon that rubs against the sheath.
A distinctive indication of trigger thumb is a clicking sound if the thumb is extended from a bent position. The clicking is produced if the tendon moves past the nodule.
The thumb might stick as it moves via the pulley and then abruptly flatten or unlock as the tendons glides past the nodule. Over time, the thumb is locked in the trigger position.