Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Diabetes and Trigger Finger

I am continuing to learn about the many complications that can be caused by diabetes. My most recent discovery, Trigger Finger.

In my case, specifically my thumb. Although I've had a few scares with my middle finger.

So what is trigger finger? Well according to the Mayo Clinic, trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. Specifically if the tenosynovium, or the protective sheath that surrounds the tendon becomes inflamed frequently or for long periods, the space within the tendon sheath can become narrow and constricting. The tendon then will not be able to glide through the sheath easily and may catch the finger in a position before popping straight. With each catch, the tendon itself becomes more irritated and inflamed. And ultimately, your finger can get caught in a bent or extended position.

Lucky for me, my thumb stuck in the straight position. So what can you do to avoid trigger finger?
Well you are already at a greater risk of developing a trigger finger if you have any of the following conditions; rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, amyloidosis, and certain infections such as tuberculosis. Diabetes is always on the risk factor list, right?! Oh, and trigger fingers are more common in women...nice. I'm still trying to figure out just what I can do to avoid trigger finger (especially since I feel I have another one coming). Because diabetes is a risk factor, I've been told better diabetic care. Get my numbers better, a better A1C, healthy diet and exercise. Oh well if that's all...

What are the treatments for trigger finger? Well it depends on the severity, but some of the treatments are;
--Finger exercises
--Avoiding repetitive gripping
--Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin) may relieve swelling.
--A steroid injection to the area. HOWEVER, this may not be as effective in people with other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
--Percutaneous trigger finger release. Performed with local anesthesia, doctors use a needle to release the locked finger. This procedure is most effective for the index, middle and ring finger.