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Re: [IP] Trigger Finger/Thumb Question

In a message dated 2/9/01 8:35:37 AM, email @ redacted writes:

<< I have trigger thumb <snip> Is there anything I could be doing (while I 
wait a few weeks to see the specialist) to lessen the discomfort? >>

Barbara, I have not had either thumb operated on (had 5 fingers done), but 
have had cortisone injection in one (and too many to count in fingers).  But 
I have been able to avoid both in recent years essentially by manipulating 
the finger or thumb when it hurts.  It is my experience (YMMV) that the real 
pain and disability comes with swelling, and keeping it moving keeps the 
swelling reduced.  The crucial movement seems to be to use the other hand to 
open and close the offending digit, as far as it will open and close -- when 
I first notice a problem, usually it will not close, particularly the thumb.  
Warming the hands first helps (I sometimes use a paraffin bath, which not 
only makes them feel better but also makes them move better.)  Squeezing a 
ball or a couple globs of silly putty also can help.  I think the turning 
point for me on this was when a new doctor suggested I routinely manipulate 
it every time I notice it hurting (difficult while driving, but most things I 
do I can stop a minute and move the digit open and closed a few times.)  
Sometimes it gets worse briefly before it gets better by doing this, but so 
far they have always gotten better.  A few times, though, I have had to do 
several paraffin baths plus movement before I could go through the pain of 
manipulating it routinely when it hurt.

A lot of people are really happy with results of the surgery, but 2 of my 
fingers did retrigger a few years later.  Cortisone is like magic in making 
them feel better, but is usually temporary (though I do have a finger I had 5 
cortisone shots in over about 3 years, and it has been fine the last 10 or 12 

Linda Z
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