Orthopaedics

Finger Tendonitis

What is finger tendonitis? Our fingers contain two tendons, known together as the

flexor tendons

 

. One of these tendons (

flexor digitorum profundus

 

) allows us to bend the finger tips, while the other (

flexor digitorum sublimis

 

) allows us to bend the middle joint of the finger. Due to factors like aging, overuse or an injury, we might be unable to bend either or both the joints, or it can be too discomforting to bend our fingers’ joints. This problem is what we refer to as finger tendonitis, also referred to as flexor tendonitis.

Causes of Finger Tendonitis:

As mentioned above, one of the most common causes of flexor tendonitis is aging. many old people are known to suffer with this problem in their fingers.

  • Also, performing strenuous activities with your fingers (like typing a keyboard), for over a period of time is what causes the tendons to inflame.
  • Direct injuries to the tendon is another cause.
  • Due to any of the above factors, fluid tends to get collected around the joints and tendons causing them to swell and ache.

Symptoms:

The following are the symptoms of inflamed flexor tendons-

  • severe pain along the inflamed tendon(s) which gets worse as it gets closer to the joints
  • tenderness of the tendon(s)
  • worsening of the pain when the injured finger is bent or sometimes, even with movement
  • swelling, especially where the tendon meets the finger bone
  • worsened pain during nights

Treatment:

Alleviating the swelling and pain of the flexor tendons is the important aim of treating this problem. The following techniques will help achieve that.

  • As you can see from the symptoms, the slightest movement of the injured finger is also going to cause pain. So, resting the injured/inflamed tendon is utmost important for giving yourself the best chance to heal.
  • Alternating between ice packs and warm compresses would also help. This increases the flow of blood to the injured tendon(s) and promotes a quicker healing.
  • Use a splint to keep the finger from moving and also to avoid it from being struck by an external object. The splint has to be worn for at least 2 weeks.
  • Consult your doctor if the pain becomes severe, and he/she would prescribe a painkiller or two for relief.
  • Despite the above techniques, if the pain does not subside, surgery might be the last option.
  • One must also not forget to exercise the injured finger. Finger tendonitis exercises help in a quicker recovery. Only be careful not to overdo the exercises.

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