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thumb locking up

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i had biladeral carple tunnel surgery in july 2011 and i am now experiencing sever pain in my thumb it seems to get locked when i bend it i can't un bend it what can i do for this and is it normal to happen
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic

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replied December 29th, 2011
Especially eHealthy

Sounds like you have developed a trigger thumb, or inflammatory flexor tenosynovitis.

This is actually a fairly common disorder in the hand. In all of the fingers (and thumb) the flexor tendons, the ones that bend the finger, run inside of a sheath that has pulleys within it.

The inflammation makes the tight space inside the sheath even tighter, causing pain. Then, as the disorder progresses, a nodule can actually form on the tendon. This nodule can get caught in the pulleys, just like a knot in a fishing line can get caught in the eyes on the pole.

So, when the patient flexes (bends) the finger, the nodule slips under the pulley, but then gets caught. Then the patient has to force the finger straight. Some can do it actively, while others have to actually use the other hand.

Trigger fingers can be treated. The tendon sheath can be injected with a tiny about of steroids. This usually cures the problem. Up to 3 injections can be given. Less than 1% of patients fail the injection. If however, they do not work, there is a small surgical procedure to release the A1 pulley.

If the problem continues, you probably need to see your hand surgeon.

Good luck.
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replied February 14th, 2012
Yes, it looks like a symptom of trigger thumb. Your thumb may be inflammated at this point and it needs time to heal.

Wearing a thumb brac can help limit your thumb movement and giving it time to heal. When the thumb is braced into a fix position, it is less like to get locked up again and causing further pain.
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