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Trigger Finger Surgery Treatment Abroad
The term "trigger finger" is a term that describes the position of the fingers or the thumb when they literally lock into place in a bent position. In many cases, this condition is caused by tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendons that cover what is called the tendon sheath, found in between the joints in all your fingers. Tendon sheaths serve to keep flexor tendons in their proper place as the finger is extended or contracted.
When this sheath thickens, it behaves much like a pulley, gradually causing the fingers to bend inward toward the palm. The index finger is one of the most commonly affected by this condition, often frozen or bent into place in a half-bent position, much like the position of the index finger on the trigger of a gun, hence its name.
Benefits of Trigger Finger Surgery
Individuals who experience symptoms of trigger finger, often caused by repetitive and forceful motion of the fingers, may benefit from finger trigger release surgical procedures. Individuals who spend years working with power tools, or those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or even diabetes may experience symptoms of trigger finger or trigger thumb at some point.
In most cases, nonsurgical methods are utilized to treat trigger finger. Nonsurgical treatments may include rest, medication such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), or acetaminophen. If those don't work, your doctor may suggest steroid injections, though these solutions are often temporary. Surgery is performed when contractions don't respond to such types of treatment. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. Patients are discharged almost immediately.
Trigger Finger Release Surgery Procedure
The patient will arrive at the doctor's outpatient facility and receive an injection of a local anesthetic into the affected finger. The surgeon will ask the patient to lie down on a table on their back, with their hand stretch down at their side. The hand is properly cleaned and draped with sterile covers.
The doctor makes an incision, usually no more than 1-cm long, at the bottom or base of the finger. Separating the skin, the doctor views the tendon sheath and pulleys that enable bending and extension of the affected finger. The doctor identifies the proper pulley in the affected finger and incises or slices through it, thereby relieving the construction and giving the tendon more freedom of movement. The patient is usually asked to perform several movements with a finger to ensure proper range of motion, flexion and extension potential.
Two to three stitches is usually all that are needed to close the incision, which may be absorbed or removed within 10 days to two weeks. In most cases, the patient will regain full use of the finger within several weeks, although some individuals may require 1 to 2 months of occupational therapy to recover from more severe contractures.
How Much Does Trigger Finger Release Surgery Cost?
Even though trigger finger release surgery is relatively minor and is performed on an outpatient basis, in the United States, the cost of trigger finger surgery may average $700 to $900, depending on the finger, the severity of the contraction, and your geographical location. Occupational therapy costs may add several hundred dollars, or more, to your total bill. Cost of anesthetic, doctors' fees, and the outpatient or surgical suite will also add additional costs to the procedure.
Individuals traveling on vacation to destinations such as Southeast Asia, India or Latin America may pay lower fees for this type of surgery. In many countries, costs are lower, not due to substandard medical care, but the lack of necessity of high medical malpractice insurance demand and markups.
Who Performs This Type of Surgery?
Hand surgeries are typically performed by trained and certified plastic or orthopedic surgeons, though trained and experienced orthopedic and general practitioners may perform various techniques and procedures. Always verify the training, education and certification of any surgeon, and make sure he or she belongs to reputable Orthopedic or Plastic Surgery organizations or associations in their country of origin.
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