Trigger Fingers

Is anyone aware of any research being done on trigger fingers in diabetics? I never realized there was increased incidence with diabetes and hypothyroidism. (So, I get the double whammy!)

I had my first trigger release done on the middle finger of my dominant hand in 2005. Immediately after surgery, I developed a trigger on the ring finger of the same hand. Frustrated at the surgeons response (Well, we can correct that for you, too!), I ignored it for years.

Then the triggering affected my little finger as well. So I went be to a new surgeon, had the two releases done (2017), and within 2 weeks after the surgery, my index finger developed the trigger.

Now it’s difficult to grasp anything in my dominant hand. Signing my signature is a ludicrous effort. I need to get it released, but fear that it will just move to my thumb.

This jumping inflammation is disheartening.

Has anyone found successful relief?

Sorry, I’m not aware of research, but I can relate to your story. I think I’ve had 7 trigger release surgeries, and also carpal tunnel release on both hands. 50+ years with T1D, so pretty high BGs in the early years before pump and CGMS.

First 2 TF were done in 1980s, and last time about 12 years ago. Then the carpal tunnel, both left and right done in 2010, but MANY hours of house painting contributed to that.
Have lost some gripping strength, but other than that do fine.

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One of Dr. Bernstein’s videos on Youtube has a remedy for trigger finger although he calls it something else. I don’t remember which video it is though but maybe he discusses it in his book.

Here is a link with details on the condition and treatment.

There is no mention of it spreading, although mentions a variation where an infection is involved.

More info

I had two trigger finger releases done by a great surgeon and I got 100% relief quite quickly and there have been no problems since then with those fingers and it has been quite a few years. The trick is to make sure you have a good surgeon

I also over my 47 years have had many trigger finger releases done. I have had two fingers done twice. I also had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands. Was told these are very common with people who have diabetes. And was also told trigger finger can happen again in a finger that has already been done. One surgery, I had 3 fingers on one hand done at the same time. I have always said I don’t have complications from my diabetes (eyes, nerves, heart, kidneys) but this has been with me since the early 80’s and I currently have another repeat finger that needs surgery.
I haven’t heard of anything that helps this problem, but I always hear to maintain good blood sugar control which is what we hear for everything.
And also never heard about any clinical trials happening. But when I have my next trial visit for another diabetes study, I will ask the doctors if they know of anyone doing a study.

Ack! Was hoping that a release would prevent a recurrence in the same finger. Oh, bother! :tired_face:

It would be interesting to hear about any research. My uneducated guess would be that any study into inflammation in T1D would be interesting, since they say the triggering is caused by inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tendons.

I’ve heard that swings in blood glucose can cause or increase inflammation, so I’m interested in increasing my time in range. (I’ve never gotten to 140 within 2 hours of eating, yet my hA1C is 5.7, so clearly I need some improvement.) Hoping the move to a pump will aid in my journey.

Thanks to all for the input and experiences. Someday there’ll be a good treatment. It’ll just take some noise to get it on the radar!

My mother had diabetes and hypothyroidism, and yes, several encounters with trigger fingers. She’s not around to ask, but I know she had one finger released surgically, another treated in an alternative way (cortisone shot, maybe?) and a third that she never treated.

My understanding is that many aspects of diabetes cause/increase inflammation - just like inflammation may “cause” (type 2) diabetes. Fluctuating blood glucose is not easy on the body - and that would translate into inflammation. Also, I’d imagine that very high blood glucose (and high doses of insulin to treat it) would be also be a factor in inflammation.

My gut tells me (no pun intended) that choosing a diet higher in anti-inflammatory foods – most of which are otherwise healthy choices, anyway – would help avoid or possibly even alleviate the problem to some degree.

Acupuncture and massage. When I had my first trigger finger/thumb and I saw the ortho NP they wanted to give me a steroid injection. My sugars get out of control easy with steroids. So I was already seeing an acupuncturist because of a back issue so I asked him about it and he treated it for about 4 times along with my back. Also showed me what areas to massage. My trigger finger just went away within a month. So then I got it on my other thumb and I wasn’t seeing him regularly so I started to deep massage it and it got worse before it just went away. Also more painful. But away it did go in about 3-4 months? Now I’m getting one in a finger and have started to massage it at the very beginning and it never fully developed and has already improved and seems to be going away.

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I asked the two endos I am working with during my current study and neither has heard of any study looking at connective tissue issues and diabetes. That doesn’t mean someone isn’t out there doing this very study. They suggest putting connective tissue into the clinical link and see what pops up. Good luck! And while I find the fingers bothersome, I also find I recover pretty fast from them and just move on.


Thanks for the “connective tissue” suggestion. Will give it a try.

I developed trigger thumbs about a year ago. Was surprised to see a connection with diabetes. I thought it was just from doing too many jigsaw puzzles on my laptop, but then it developed in my non-track pad thumb too.

Following. T1 and thyroid; my right thumb started triggering the night I had my left thumb released. They say good things come in threes so I’m just waiting.

My irst trigger finger was my right thumb. I got that fixed, and in the next couple of years I had my right pinky and my left index finger fixed. If it happens again, I’ll just see the surgeon and get it done. It’s simple, mine was done under local anaesthetic, but he wouldn’t let me watch, and the healing was a doddle.

Well, doddle was a new term to me. Thanks for vocabulary increase!


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I think it’s a Yorkshire expression. I’m Engish, so what the hell. :wink:

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I have had surgeries for multiple trigger fingers and carpal tunnel. I also had procedures for frozen shoulders, and dupuytren’s contraction.

For the last 20 yrs, my A1c has been 5.5 or less, and since then I havent had any more problems.

Two best surgery results I’ve had were for trigger fingers. In a very short time after surgery, my fingers were back to normal. it’s been years now and they still or symptom-free.