What to Expect from Trigger Finger Release Surgery

Prior to Surgery

  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), lopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have.
  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • Let your doctor know if you have a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout or other illness prior to surgery. This may require that your reschedule your procedure.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • This procedure is normally done under local anesthesia. Your surgeon may recommend that you not drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery. In some cases, you may be able to have a light breakfast prior to surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

  • You will be able to move your finger immediately following surgery.
  • Most patients can go home the same day.
  • You can expect some soreness in your finger for a few days. Remember to elevate your hand above your heart to help reduce swelling and use ice packs to help with discomfort.
  • Most patients feel much better within the first few days, but it takes up to six months for all swelling and stiffness to resolve.

Recovery: what to expect in the next few weeks

Your physician may recommend physical therapy and/or exercises to help you loosen the finger as it heals.


Trigger Finger Release Surgery Q&A

What does trigger finger surgery involve?

The surgery is done using local anesthesia to numb the site. The surgeon makes a small incision in the palm of the hand and cuts the tendon sheath tunnel. After it heals, the tunnel is wider and more flexible, allowing the tendon to pass through more easily.

How many incisions are made?

One small incision is made in the finger.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

This is an outpatient procedure.

What is the recovery time?

Patients are able to use the finger immediately following surgery. Recovery is complete within a few weeks, but it takes up to six months for all swelling and stiffness to go away.

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