Night splint as a remedy for chronic tendovaginitis

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I have been diagnosed with non-stenosing tendovaginitis (also called trigger finger) on the 4th and 5th fingers of my right hand. The problem has been going on for 7 months now, two months ago my doctor started a treatment with a custom made splint to wear during the nigth, which holds my two fingers in a semi-bent position, but things have only got worst since then.

It's not clear to me what is the benefit of wearing a splint at night in a position that is basically the same that my fingers assume without a splint, I asked my doctor and she said that this is to avoid the contraction of the fingers that happens during the R.E.M. phase of the sleep. Does anybody know about this (specifically, what is the reasoning behind using a splint to treat trigger finger)?.

I also told my doctor that on the Mayo Clinic site I read that the splint should keep the fingers in an extended position instead of semi-bent, but she said that Mayo Clinic was wrong.

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  • Posted

    Anvi, I doubt very much that the Mayo Clinic is "wrong" - they are a renouned site for reliable knowledge.  I have experienced trigger thumb, and splinting is generally considered to be good advice, mainly because the finger can't then trigger so is more comfortable, if you can call having it splinted more comfortable!  But te splint needs to be worn during the day, not just at night!  Some doctors suggest a cortisone injection.  I spoke to my excellent local pharmacist explaining how I was having to keep straightening my thumb back up from the 'triggered' position.  He told me that both he and his brother had experienced trigger fingers in the past and both had recovered without intervention, but it can take several months.  I decided to put up with it and sure enough it returned to normal within a few months.  A friend has just experienced the same problem and although I told him it would return to normal in due course, he decided to go to the Dr who arranged referral to a hand specialist - the appointment came through some 12 weeks later but was cancelled because his finger had returned to normal!
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  • Posted

    I also had trigger finger on my left hand.  I did have a splint that I wore at night (my fingers were kept straight).  Although I am not sure it was from the splint, my trigger finger eventually did clear by itself.  I now have the same problem on my right hand (my fourth finger).  Much worse during the night and first thing in the morning and then it does loosen up.  I am waiting to see if this will clear on its own.  I was told about the shots and the surgery to release it but trying to avoid both.  Have you gotten a second opinon?
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  • Posted

    Trgger finger : the tendon goes throiugh a sheath but like a tube and sometimes you het growths / nodules and so the tendon cannot get through the tube smoothly The splint stops you bending your finger and also allows the nodule to decrease in size .  I don't get what your GP is saying  though I know sometimes spinting is done with an angle oif 15 degrees . I had trigger finger on my left hand middle finger.  I also had  a splint that I wore at night abd sometimes during the day though it tends to interfere with daily life. I also had tape along the finger which does the same thing but is less intrusive.  Why dont you get a simplle splint in the chemist - they are quite cheap. and try it out.  Or tape your finger , if you use waterp[roof tape of kinesio tape you can wear it 24/7 fpr say a week

    What worked best was steroid injection which I have had on 2 occasions that gave significant relief for about 8 months.  I cannot have another one though as I am advised that too many lead to the tendon falling apart.  Unfortunately its a bit unpredictable not all bending  leads to ttiggerunbg

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies. I just wanted to add that the problem with my fingers is not that they remain in a bent position, it's actually the contrary (i.e. they are very stiff expecially when I wake up and I can't bend them). My doctor said that this is the normal behavior of a "trigger finger" at an early stage, but I'm not totally convinced.
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  • Posted

    Oh that makes more sense of the way your doctor wants it splinted then so the nodukle thing is already through the tendon.  I think I have read it can be a symptom of trigger finger.   If its still going on after 7 months maybe your GP can consider an injection.  Is there a hand specialist near you, or a hand physio.  I used one in London - roughly where do you live
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  • Posted

    Thanks averubody for your replies, the contain much useful information, however no one actually answered my question, which was "what is the reasoning behind using a splint to treat trigger finger", since after immobilization the finger is worse, not better
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