When you think of trigger fingers in toddlers, you may imagine a toddler who is a good shot with their toy gun as they play pretend cowboys. However, a trigger finger, also known as a trigger thumb, is quite serious. Its medical name also knows this of stenosing tenosynovitis. Occurring in 3 out of 1,000 children, it’s something that may need treatment.
What Is A Trigger Finger?
A trigger finger is when your toddler’s thumb or finger clicks or pops when they straighten it. This is because the tendons of the finger responsible for flexing are too big and can’t slide smoothly.
Why is this a bad thing? While it’s painless on its own, your child may feel pain when they try to straighten their fingers. Then, they may notice their fingers stuck. That’s never good, especially if it’s the thumb. With the thumb being so used, it can be a disaster if your toddler has to use it.
Trigger fingers vary in severity, with some being so severe, your kid cannot straighten their digit at all and need surgery to fix it.
You may wonder what the cause(s) of trigger fingers in toddlers are. You may think the child has injured their finger by playing too hard. However, trigger fingers are usually not caused by any injury, but instead, it’s just due to the tendons being too big. It’s something that doesn’t have a direct cause, and during birth, you may not notice it.
It’s associated with toddlers a lot, but you may also notice it in young children as well, which can be a problem as well.
With that said, some things increase the risk of trigger fingers. These include:
Repeated injury to the hand may cause trigger fingers.
If you suspect your child has trigger fingers, here are a few signs to be on the lookout for.
- Their Fingers Are Stiff
If you notice any unusual stiffness, this may be a sign.
- Their Fingers Pop When Straightened
If they bend or straighten their finger or thumb, it could be a sign of a trigger finger. Usually, this accompanied by a painful pop, so beware.
- The Fingers Get Stuck
If the fingers, when straightened or bent, end up getting stuck, this may be a sign of trigger finger.
- The Symptoms Can Be Worse in the Morning
The time of day can affect how the symptoms are. During the morning, there is a chance that the symptoms may be worse, so that’s a sign that it could be trigger finger or thumb at work.
Now, these symptoms aren’t just for trigger fingers, either. They may find something such as juvenile arthritis. If you want to rule it out, your best bet is to go to a doctor.
Testing For Trigger Finger
If you suspect your child has a trigger finger or thumb, you should not hesitate, and you should take them to the doctor and see if they do have it. A doctor will usually figure it out through a physical exam. Sometimes, they may need an X-ray, but those circumstances are quite rare.
If you’re worried about your toddler’s trigger finger, it’s understandable, and you may wonder how it’s treated.
For a third of children who have it, they will outgrow it. If your child outgrows it, this usually happens after their first birthday. If your kid is under one, your doctor may tell you to wait it out, as correcting it when it has a possibility of correcting itself is something to avoid.
However, if it doesn’t go away, you may need surgery.
Trigger Finger Surgery
Surgery is always a little bit scary when it’s a little one on the line. Luckily, the surgery is easy and allows your child to live a life without trigger fingers. Between 1-3 years, surgery usually happens. The surgery involves the surgeon helping the tendon glide better. This usually involves removing the tendon’s sheath or removing part of the tendon.
Of course, they will make sure there is no other way to treat it. Is it inflammation? If so, is it treatable? The doctors know that surgery is always a last resort, and by knowing this, they can help make the best determination for surgery.
After surgery, your child will be able to go home almost immediately. There will be a bandage over the incision, and they won’t be able to use their hand. This is needed for healing, so make sure your toddler isn’t messing with it. This can make the problem worse.
After a bit, the doctor will take off the bandaging, and the child can use their hand. There are sutures, and these will fall out without any needed intervention. This usually happens a few weeks after the surgery.
After the surgery heals, you may need a follow-up to make sure everything else is going well. Once that happens, and the doctor sees that everything is going well, you probably won’t need to deal with the problem ever again.
Can The Baby Get It Again?
You may wonder if reoccurring trigger fingers in toddlers are possible. Once it’s fixed, can it happen again? If so, will you need another surgery?
Luckily, the trigger finger rarely happens again. In almost all cases, it’s gone for good, and you won’t have to worry about it. Your toddler can rest easy, knowing they can use their fingers quite well.
Trigger finger is a bit terrifying. The idea of your toddler not being able to use their fingers properly is a concern. However, with proper treatment, your child should be able to use it quite well. If you suspect your child has it, get a diagnosis, see if they can grow out of it, and if not, it’s time for surgery. Give your toddler lots of love afterward!
How do you release a trigger thumb toddler lock?
Trigger thumb may get better on its own, which can take months to years. Another way to treat trigger thumb is through stretching and splinting. You may be taught stretches and massages and be given a splint to hold the thumb straight. The last treatment option to correct trigger thumb is through surgery, and it is performed when your child is between a year or three years old.
What is a pediatric trigger thumb?
Pediatric trigger thumb is when the thumb locks and cannot move freely when your child tries to bend or straighten it. About 3 in 1,000 children can develop this condition, and it typically occurs when the child is between a year and three years old.
What is the cause of the trigger finger?
Several factors contribute to the development of trigger finger in adults. However, pediatric trigger finger or thumb is not caused by overuse or injury, and neither are they born with it. The ligament or tunnel of tissue where the tendon moves are not wide enough to accommodate the tendon’s movement. This mismatch in size then causes the tendon to swell, which can also cause a bump to form.
Why is my finger bent after trigger finger surgery?
After the surgery, the patient should be able to move their previously affected finger in smoother motions. The operation works for most cases; however, some studies have shown that the success rate can be lower for those with diabetes. It is best to consult first with your doctor regarding any possible complications.
What is the trigger thumb?
Trigger thumb occurs when you are unable to bend or straighten your thumb correctly. If your toddler has it, they may feel a locking sensation when they move their thumb. It can also cause pain.
Is Trigger Finger genetic?
Trigger finger may develop after birth, and it happens by chance. The condition’s occurrence is not related to genetics or other hereditary diseases.
What is trigger thumb in toddlers?
Just like trigger thumb that occurs in adults, trigger thumb in toddlers is when the tendons used to flex the fingers are unable to glide smoothly within the tunnel. It results in the locking or catching of the thumb. Trigger thumb in toddlers happens to 3 in 1,000 children.
Does trigger thumb require surgery?
Some cases of trigger thumb do not require surgery, and the condition may get better on its own. If this does not happen, and splinting and stretching does not work as well, your doctor may recommend surgery for treatment. Always consult with your doctor before making a decision.
What happens if you don’t treat trigger thumb?
As your child grows, the chances of the trigger thumb healing on its own also decreases. When this happens, the condition may also progress. They may be unable to uncurl their finger without the help of their other hand, or other fingers may also be affected.
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