Information for Patients
Finger Injuries and Disorders
You use your fingers and thumbs to do everything from grasping objects to playing musical instruments to typing. When there is something wrong with them, it can make life difficult. Common problems include
- Injuries that result in fractures, ruptured ligaments and dislocations
- Osteoarthritis - wear-and-tear arthritis. It can also cause deformity.
- Tendinitis - irritation of the tendons
- Dupuytren's contracture - a hereditary thickening of the tough tissue that lies just below the skin of your palm. It causes the fingers to stiffen and bend.
- Trigger finger - an irritation of the sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons. It can cause the tendon to catch and release like a trigger.
Tendons are flexible bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. They help your muscles move your bones. Tendinitis is the severe swelling of a tendon.
Tendinitis usually happens after repeated injury to an area such as the wrist or ankle. It causes pain and soreness around a joint. Some common forms of tendinitis are named after the sports that increase their risk. They include tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, pitcher's shoulder, swimmer's shoulder, and jumper's knee.
Doctors diagnose tendinitis with your medical history, a physical exam, and imaging tests. The first step in treatment is to reduce pain and swelling. Rest, wrapping or elevating the affected area, and medicines can help. Ice is helpful for recent, severe injuries. Other treatments include ultrasound, physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery.