Snap fingers

A snap finger is usually difficult to stretch or bend. How it happens and what the therapy looks like, read here!

Snap fingers

As snap fingers One refers to a tenosynovitis (tendovaginitis stenosans) in the area of ​​the flexor tendons of the hand. Other names are "fast finger" (lat. Digitus saltans), trigger finger and ring ligament stenosis. By nodular thickening, the tendon can no longer slide freely. This hinders the bending or stretching of the affected finger. Everything important about the Schnappfinger read here.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in doctor's letters or on incapacity certificates. M65

Product Overview

snap fingers

  • description

  • symptoms

  • Causes and risk factors

  • Examinations and diagnosis

  • treatment

  • Disease course and prognosis

Schnappfinger: Description

Tendovaginitis stenosans can occur on all flexor tendons of the fingers. Most commonly affected by tendonitis are the most loaded fingers, so the middle finger and thumb ("quick thumb"), but also the ring finger. If the affected finger is flexed, it initially remains in the bent position and can only be stretched with increased strength or with the help of the other hand. As the name says Schnappfinger, then creates a clearly visible snap, which can also be painful. This phenomenon is called a fast finger or spring fingers.

Another form of tendonitis in the hand is the tendinitis stenosans de Quervain. It affects only the extensor tendons in the first tendon pocket on the wrist.

Schnappfinger: causes and risk factors

The Schnappfinger is a common disease - about 28 people per 100,000 population sufferers each year from a Tendovaginitis stenosans. The risk of developing a snap finger during life is around 2.6 percent. In diabetics, the probability is even increased to ten percent. Women are particularly affected: They get about six times more likely a "quick finger" than men.

The first description as tendonitis under the name Tendovaginits stenosans was made in 1850 by Notta. Schnappfinger: causes and risk factors

In a tendinitis stenosans the flexor tendon of the affected finger at the level of the basal joint is thickened like a tuber. As a result, the tendon can no longer freely slide through the tight ring band (the so-called A1 ring band) that attaches the tendon sheath (in which the tendon runs) to the bone. As a result, the affected finger can often only be jerkily bent or stretched (snap-on phenomenon).

In many cases, the cause of the snap finger remains unknown. Otherwise, chronic overloading of the fingers and hands is a frequent cause, for example at work. Also inflammatory diseases such as gout, rheumatism and metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus are considered as a reason for a Tendovaginitis stenosans considered.

There is also a congenital form of the snap finger, namely an innate bent thumb (Pollex flexus congenitus). The affected children are already born with a thickened thumb flexor tendon.

Schnappfinger: Symptoms

The swelling can be different pronounced, so that the symptoms of Schnappfinger can be different strong. At the onset of the disease, patients often describe stiffness of the affected finger, especially in the morning. In most cases, the "tendon knot" can be felt at the level of the middle-hand's head. One can then feel a pressure-painful swelling, which is displaced with the flexor tendons. Unspecific pain and a feeling of tightness can accompany the Tendovaginitis stenosans.

In the advanced stage of the disease, the typical snap-on phenomenon occurs occasionally or constantly: Due to the knot-like thickening, the tendon can only glide through the annular ligament with increased force and then suddenly ("rapidly"), which is not necessarily associated with pain. The snap phenomenon often occurs when trying to stretch your finger. If a rheumatic disease is behind the snap finger, flexion is more likely to be blocked.

If the Tendovaginitis stenosans progresses, the affected finger is occasionally or constantly pinched in flexion. Only in pain can he be stretched actively or passively (with the help of the other hand), whereby - and eventually not even at all.

The pain in a snap finger is felt not only at the site of movement inhibition, but also stretch side over the joints.

Schnappfinger: examinations and diagnostics

The Schnappfinger can be diagnosed purely clinically. The passive movement of the finger usually shows a quick thumb or a quick finger, especially in the morning. Patients also commonly report pressure pain in the area of ​​the annular ligament, which increases as the finger moves.On the palm, a knot may sometimes be felt on the metacarpal head. In some cases, Tendovaginitis stenosans can also be examined more accurately by ultrasound.

Schnappfinger: Treatment

A fast-moving finger is often treated conservatively in the early stages. However, success is usually only temporary, so that surgery is often performed.

Schnappfinger: Physiotherapy & Co.

In the context of conservative treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs can be used, such as anti-inflammatory ointments or cortisone injections. Eventually, the affected finger will be immobilized for some time. The swelling and pain can often be alleviated by local cooling. After the symptoms have resolved, gentle exercises under physiotherapeutic guidance can be helpful.

Fast finger: OP

To operate the Schnappfinger, usually only a local anesthetic is necessary. The surgeon sets a small incision and then splits the first ring band on the affected finger in the longitudinal axis. Furthermore, if necessary, it will remove inflamed tendon gliding tissue. The surgeon then checks to see if the tendon is free to slide before suturing the wound.

Schnappfinger surgery: complication

The most common complication of surgical snap-in therapy is that the adjacent vascular nerve bundle is injured. The surgeon will pay particular attention to the superficial branch of the radial nerve (Ramus superficialis nervi radials).

Read more about the investigations

  • MRI

Schnappfinger: Disease course and prognosis

The surgery usually eliminates the snap fingers, Exercises to mobilize the fingers should be started soon after surgery to avoid adhesions.

Read more about the therapies

  • orthosis

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