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"Trigger Finger" in toddler

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
First off, has anyone heard of this?
Anyone with an infant or toddler that was diagnosed?

one of my 2 yr old boys has a thumb that is "stuck" in a bent position, I took him to the docs and he referred us to an orthopedic. This doctor jumped right to surgery, said it was a simple procedure, you have to make a small incision at the base of the thumb, then make a slit in the enlarged "knot" at the base of the tendon that is inflammed and causing the lock up.
He said it only takes about 10 minutes, BUT (big but), he has to go under general anesthisia since "kids can't hold still like adults can".

I never heard of this before but looked it up on the internet when I got home. Found this helpful link with pics and explanations:
http://www.eatonhand.com/hw/hw022.htm

It doesn't seem like surgery should even be the first "plan"... so why suggest it for a toddler who would "have" to be but under gen as? He didn't mention taking IBprofin, or heat or ice, or cortizone shots...

Anyway, just trying to get as much information about this as I can, and figure out what I want to do. I know he needs the full use of his thumb... and would hate to do something like "wait it out" if it would make anything worse, or inhibit things like development of hand-eye coordination...

looking for thoughts/ideas/suggestions!
post #2 of 8
My mother has a trigger finger now, and she had one in the past (ring finger on each hand interestingly). She researched it a lot and really- especially if it's stuck- there's not a lot to be done for it.

She did not have surgery- but she had movement, it just gets stuck. Her's hurts a LOT. The first one she finally busted loose (randomly, one day while driving) She said that REALLY hurt. But then it was all better. The one she has now PART of it has broken loose, but it's not all gone yet.

Sorry I don't have more great advice- I have no idea how I'd deal with it in a toddler.



-Angela
post #3 of 8
I would get a second opinion. Too many docs out there jump to surgery first because selfishly it is easier for them and makes them more money. My son had surgery a few months ago and the anesthesia scared me too (it took him weeks to recover and our doc said it was likely the effects of the anesthesia still affecting him - scary!!). Did you see a pediatric ortho?? They would be less likely to recommend surgery on someone so young. Also, if it isn't bothersome to him (painful) maybe the surgery could wait till he was older??
post #4 of 8
Surgeons do surgery.

I'd get a second opinion or try alternative comfort care unless it is causing distress. Definitely doesn't sound worth the risk of general anesthesia, imo.


Pat
post #5 of 8
I am one to avoid anything medical. I would go on his reaction. Does he seem to be in pain? If so, if it's pretty constant, and if you can't relieve it, I would consider surgery. My mom has an incredible pain threshold and she says hers hurt TERRIBLY. As an adult she's perfectly willing to wait it out. With a kid who doesn't understand... that could be an issue.

-Angela
post #6 of 8
My Mom also has this. She isn't much for alternative medicine, so she was advised by her MD. She told her the cortizone shot can help for many years, and sometimes forever depending on the severity. My Mom had the coritzone shot and it lasted about 5 years. She has the problem in another finger and the corizone helped, after she got 2 shots.

I would try for a second opinion. Especially since there are other methods you can try before opting for surgery.

I hope that helps. Goodluck!

Cat
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies!

I think right now our thoughts are to partly wait it out (for at least several months) and also to get a second opinion from a pediatric hand specialist.
The orthopedic we saw was not a pediatric one... although he sees kids, I just didn't ask him anything about his statistics.

My mom actually came across some interesting articles online (and I thought I was the computer savy one!), and it seems like it children its almost always the thumb, and almost never painful. There is also a fairly good chance it can spontaneously recover (hence the decision to wait a while), but after age 3 the chance go significantly down.

Here is one of the links for anyone interested!
http://www.jbjs.org.uk/cgi/reprint/82-B/5/736.pdf
post #8 of 8
Just a thought on a different note...if you have access to acupuncture, you might consider checking it out. There are meridians that run down the side of each finger and almost every toe, and they govern different organ functions and such. My 4th toe curls up a lot, but when I get acupuncture or acupressure it gets better quickly. The theory is that something else in the body is clogging the meridian, which can cause other problems at any point along that meridian. Acupuncturists unclog the meridians using the needles or applied pressure in the case of acupressurists. I know that one meridian runs down the thumb, just can't remember which. Does that make any sense??? Might be worth looking into though...
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