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Hand Pain

Does your finger feel like it is “dislocating,” catching, clicking and/or even locking down? Do you have pain in the palm of your hand with any kind of gripping activities?


These symptoms are possibly a trigger finger. So what is a trigger finger? Why does your finger feel like it’s getting caught or “dislocating”?


In short, a pulley holds the finger tendons down to the bone; similarly to an eyelet on a fishing pole holds the fishing line to the pole. The finger has pulleys, which hold the flexor tendons close to the bone to generate force, and allows you to make a fist.

Fishing pole


Another example of what is going on inside your hand:  Have you ever tried to pull a piece of knotted string through an eyelet or a hole and it got caught? You would have to tug and pull in order to get it through. After a lot of force it would finally pull through, or it was a lost cause.



When the tendon gets inflamed, for any number of reasons, it gets irritated (i.e. the tunnel that the tendon lives in gets rough) and can develop a bump, which snags on one of the pulleys, or “eyelets,” causing pain or if severe enough, the finger to lock up.



“So what can you do about this? How is this treated?”


When pain gets to the point where its sticking, catching, or “locking,” then the most effective way to treat it is a cortisone injection to the tendon sheath (the tube that houses the tendon), or surgery to decompress the pulley to allow more room for the tendon to go through.


It’s important to not let the finger, or fingers get stiff.


A little secret about fingers: they only know how to swell up, get stiff, and hurt. So keep those fingers moving!


 Author: Stephanie Jones, AT

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic