Nodules under Pinkie Finger, Tenosynovitis and Precursor to Trigger Finger?

I have a nodule on my left palm, under my little finger, just above the crease at the palm.

There is a clear swelling in the area obvious on touching and is sensitive to pressure. Gripping things tightly or pressing the nodule causes pain.

I do not appear to have any limitations in mobility of the finger at the moment although there are the few occasional moments when I have felt some discomfort while typing.

My GP believes it is a swelling of the tendon and sheath which is a precursor to trigger finger. She has referred me to a hand specialist and believes that it is likely I will be offered a steriod injection for the condition.

I have two questions:
a) I was under the impression that tenosynovitis normally manifests in the form of difficulties to straighten or flex the finger. I have no such problems. Could it still be a tenosynovitis problem?
b) If it is early stages of tenosynovitis, would splinting/physical therapy be a viable alternative treatment? I have heard that there are some risks involved in steriod injections.

Just some background, I in my mid 30s, female with very active use of hands. I type a great deal as a result of work but also do a fair amount of rowing, motorcycling, tennis and manual work which involves a lot of gripping under pressure.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.


Joshua Answers:

Hello Anonymous.

You didn't leave your name or email address or click on the notifications box, so I hope you find this somehow.

Your doctor is probably right about the nodule in the palm. It is likely swelling, possibly tendon tissue growth on the tendon itself.

Is the nodule on the tendon itself? Or is it floating in the soft tissue?

A. Trigger finger causes movement problems with fingers. Tenosynovitis causes PAIN. They can blend in the middle somewhere, as they are usually connected to some degree or other, but you can definitely have one or the other, or both.

Said another way, trigger finger is when scar tissue builds up on the sliding tendon and can't move easily or at all through the tendon sheath.

This growth irritates the tendon sheath, which is Tenosynovitis. The sheath can swell, which puts more pressure on the scar tissue knob on the tendon, which causes more irritation to the tendon sheath, and more scar tissue to lay down on the growing knob.


B. Yes, there are risks with corticosteroid injections, mainly that they don't work very well pr at all, in my experience.

Splinting wouldn't be bad to decrease irritation to the inflammed tendon sheath. I'd put my money on Ice Dipping and Ice Massage, as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

Find out more about Tenosynovitis.

Find out more about Trigger Finger.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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