One of the best treatment options available for people with trigger finger is something called a corticosteroid injection. This is known by many patients as a cortisone injection. Cortisone is probably the strongest anti-inflammatory medication we have and the good thing about an injection is that if you take a pill, it goes to your whole body. Whereas an injection is focused right on the area where you’re having a problem. A corticosteroid injection can typically be performed in the office. It is usually a mixture of a local anesthetic like Lidocaine or Novocaine that numbs the area and also the corticosteroid, which is the anti-inflammatory medication. Typically it takes about 24 hours for most cortisone injections to take effect. The local anesthetic on the other hand works immediately and typically lasts between two and six hours. I usually tell patients when they leave my office, they feel pretty good because the local anesthetic is working, but usually four to six hours later when it wears off, they’d become symptomatic again. Usually about 24 hours after though, the cortisone will kick in and really help decrease that inflammation and the pain. It is normal for some patients to have a flare of the cortisone afterwards. This is because the hand is pretty shallow and any kind of foreign medication injected into it can cause the body to have some kind of reaction. This typically lasts a day or two and in the end usually benefits the patient a great deal once the anti-inflammatory kicks in.
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