Please Don't Pull That Trigger (Finger)
September 3, 2016 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Just received a cortisone shot for trigger finger. Reports vary on how soon I should see improvement, if the cortisone is going to help. If it doesn't help, I'll need surgery. I am looking for anecdotal info on your experience (I am not concerned about the surgery, I am just wondering how hopeful or resigned to be). If you have had a cortisone shot, how long did it take to see improvement? I am on day 2 with no improvement at all. You are not my doctor and I am not soliciting medical advice. Thanks!
posted by Ink-stained wretch to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had a cortisone shot for a different issue (De Quervain's tenosynovitis, in the wrist), and the doctor told me it could take 10 days to work, which seemed absurdly long to me.

The pain was gone on day 10. I'd give it some more time.
posted by purpleclover at 3:29 PM on September 3, 2016

I had a cortisone shot for a trigger thumb. Took about 4-5 days before it was totally back to non-trigger normal (by the time I got the shot I could no longer bend my thumb). That was about 6 months, and my thumb is now starting to trigger again. Grrrr.
posted by Pineapplicious at 3:32 PM on September 3, 2016

If I remember correctly, it took about a week before things were noticably better. I think if I had tested it the way I was supposed to, it would have been better sooner.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:56 PM on September 3, 2016

Oh, and I had trigger finger- left index.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:57 PM on September 3, 2016

I am not a doctor, this is just what happened to me. I had trigger fingers with a lot of dense swelling at base of both fingers next to my thumb. Dr. gave me the cortisone shot in the pad at the base of the finger that was worse and advised me to press my hand on a flat desk with my other hand several times a day. After a few days things were better, but a few months later the other finger got bad. So he gave the shot in pad at the base of the other finger and I have been fine since.

One question I did ask him was that, since I have a medical condition that is a risk factor for trigger finger, does this mean I will keep having to get shots and maybe surgeries. If I understood him correctly, he said it doesn't work like that. A risk factor for getting a problem does not translate into a difficulty with resolving or relieving the problem.

Again, this is not medical advice, just sharing my experience.
posted by forthright at 4:26 PM on September 3, 2016

i've had cortisone in my left hip (1x), my cspine (5x), my lspine (1x), and just the other day in my left elbow (1x) for an annoying case of tennis elbow. in all instances significant relief was felt by day 3-4 at the latest. in everything but the elbow the relief was gradual; in the elbow the pain was dramatically worse for about 24h following the shot followed by overnight full relief down the entire arm. i have significant ulnar nerve compression in that arm from 2 other unrelated injuries that may have contributed to the elbow experience, tho.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:38 PM on September 3, 2016

Trigger finger on my right thumb treated with cortisone took 3-4 days to feel better and has lasted about two years. When I got trigger finger in my left thumb last year I wanted to avoid cortisone for a number of reasons and keeping it in a splint eventually worked after about six months.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:10 PM on September 3, 2016

Good questionL I was about to give up, yet it turns out I'm on the other end of the curve. Trigger left ring finger: problem for two months, get shot, no improvement until 30 days later, still fine six months on.

Significant shot: if there's a next time I'm going to bring something soft to squeeze in my other hand to keep my mind calm.
posted by Jesse the K at 5:19 PM on September 3, 2016

I had two cortisone shots for a trigger finger. It resolved after the first shot within a few days. Then it came back, the shot worked again. The third time, I had the surgery. The surgery was way less painful than the shot. It was just a local numbing shot - no unconsciousness - and the procedure took only a minute. I did get a few stitches so i have a scar but very unmemorable. I guess they just slit open the compartment that was catching the tendon. No problems in six years since.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:50 PM on September 3, 2016

I had it twice, in each my ring fingers. Cortisone didn't help, surgery did.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:29 PM on September 3, 2016

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