palm and finger pain TRIGGER FINGER

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by remo, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    just started getting a dull pain in the palm of my right hand about 1" towards my wrist from the base of my pointer finger.. also got dull pain in my left hand side pointer...

    went to the doc and he sent me to a hand specialist... the hand doc diagnoses me with "trigger finger"..


    very good description of the problem here:

    we tried cortisone injections into where he thought the swelling was but it had no effect... now he want to do exploratory, which means numb my hand, slice the finger open like a snow pea and have a look at the mechanics for the swelling (nodule) on the tendon, shave it down and close me up.... after which I will need a 6 week healing "no bass" time...

    what the heck do I do?.. the pain really is not that bad.. it is getting worst.. and we have some big gigs coming up... :meh:

    has anyone had any experience with "trigger finger" or any other hand tendon related issues? (and no gun "trigger finger" jokes, this is serious man!!!) :help:
  2. I'd recommend learning to use your ring finger to pluck if you've got gigs coming up. Then you can just move everything over a finger. I don't have any really topical advice.
  3. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I think I have that. But lower down on my finger at the joint where the hand and finger meet. There is an obvious swolen spot in the tendon under my skin and my finger gets stuck sometimes and I have to really force it to move. I've been meaning to get it looked at for a long time but I just keep forgetting becuase it's doesn't interfear or cause pain.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I have struggled with trigger thumb actually. The "trigger" comes from the fact that the thumb, or finger in your case, snaps instead of moving smoothly in the joint.

    I went to a hand specialist about my snapping thumb, because it was the fretting hand and made fretting extremely uncomfortable. He was the one who gave the problem the diagnosis of "trigger thumb" which I had never heard of.

    Anyway, he injected me with cortisone right into that big joint at the base of my thumb. I tell you, I saw WHITE, the pain was so bad. And I SWEAR he twisted that dang needle in that joint!

    In a few days the thumb joint ceased to snap, but the doctor warned me that once you develop this problem it can return any time. He also told me that if cortisone injections don't work, joint surgery is the next step. I was determined to avoid surgery or more injections, so I laid off bass playing for awhile to fully recover, but I know this strategy may not be an option for you. Still for me the emotional pain of not playing bass was preferable to the physical pain of that horrible shot.

    I truly hope you won't need surgery. Give the injection a little time to work.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Dubs, you very accurately describe a trigger joint when you say sometimes the joint gets "stuck" and doesn't bend smoothly. That is EXACTLY what happens. I call it snapping, but getting stuck is a good description, too. If it doesn't bother you, do nothing. The injection I got right into the joint hurt like heck. Avoid that injection if you can.
  6. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    I've also had the injection in both joints in my finger... Yeah, hurt like a mofo!!!

    ...but now I'm up to the "lets slice you open and have a look stage".. I'd really like to hear from people who have had this operation and had the nodule on the tendon shaved down... has anyone had and surgury on their hand? how did the recovery go? How long were you out of the picture?
  7. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Please don't do this. Hands are very, very delicate machines. Many years ago I injured my left hand. I cut myself deeply near the first knuckle on my pinky. It hurt and then ached for a few days but I could still use it so I adopted that philosophy.

    Then it started hurting more, then it stiffened up. I went to an ortho and got checked out....permenant tendon damage, no way to repair (well there was a surgical option: have my entire hand and most of my forearm opened up, take a tendon graft from somewhere else, rebuild the tendon and wait 6 months with my entire arm in a sling to heal. That might have gotten me 10% mobility in the finger). My pinky is paralyzed past that nuckle. When I cut myself the tendon had been partially severed from the bone. As I used it during the healing process it gradually tore away until there was nothing connecting the outer portion of my finger to the muscles that move it. Consequently I can't fret using that finger.

    If there is something wrong, get it fixed. By all means talk to other doctors, get second, thrid, fourth opinions, talk to other's who've had the surgery. Surgery may not be your only option, but you risk permenantly loosing use of a finger if you don't do something.
  8. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    If you must play soon take aspirin 30 mins before gig. Afterwards soak hand in water as hot as you can stand, but not hot enough to burn your skin. Realize, though, this is a quick relief and you are causing the problem to worsten in the longterm.

    Get the surgery performed by a certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in carpal and metacarpal surgery. Seek extensive postop physical therapy and you should be better than new.