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Medical Edge: How Do You Treat a Trigger Thumb

Updated: Monday, January 20 2014, 07:38 PM EST

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Dr. Andrew Cross says he sees patients with this common joint problem quite often - in Allie’s case, our viewer that wrote us, it was causing her joints to stiffen.


Allie actually said she had this problem in both of her thumbs, it's sometimes called a trigger thumb and it locks up. She also found it was accompanied by tremors.


“It can come from two things; either Tendonitis in the thumb or arthritis in the thumb,” Cross said.


Imaging studies can help with a diagnosis, but Dr. Cross says in most cases, it’s Tendonitis. The tendons get caught in the tunnel in the thumb when you try to move it up or down.


Over the counter anti- inflammatory medications are the first line of treatment.


If that doesn’t work, Dr. Cross says a conservative approach is taken with either a splint or a cortisone shot. In some cases, that’s enough for some people.


“It can wear off, but in two out of three people it’s curative,” Cross said.


As for the tremors our viewer noticed, Dr. Cross says those may be benign, but a neurologist should evaluate them.

Medical Edge: How Do You Treat a Trigger Thumb


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