Tag Archive for: finger pain

Boutonnière Deformity

Some health conditions, diseases, and injuries can have long-lasting effects on the bones and joints. One example of this is boutonnière deformity, which can permanently disfigure your finger. Boutonnière deformity may appear immediately after an injury but can also present 1-3 weeks after the finger has been injured. This condition becomes more difficult to correct if the deformity is left untreated for more than three weeks. That’s why it is always advisable to consult a specialist as quickly as possible to find out the root cause of it and prevent further damage. The place to get the quickest diagnosis and best care is at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Boutonnière deformity can happen to anyone. Someone can even be born with it. If a tendon in the hand called the central slip extensor is injured, a boutonnière deformity may develop. Tendons are tissues made up of bundled fibers that connect muscle to bone to allow for movement. The central slip extensor goes to the middle joint of the finger or toe. In boutonnière deformity, an injury tears the tendon, and a slit appears. If this situation isn’t corrected, the middle of the finger will remain bent, and the tip of the finger will stick out. It’s called a boutonnière deformity because the slit in the tendon looks like a buttonhole with the bone showing. “Boutonnière” means buttonhole in French.


Each finger is made up of three bones, each called a phalanx. The fingertip is the distal phalanx, the middle phalanx is the center, and the proximal phalanx is located next to the hand. Extensor tendons attach to the middle and distal phalanges. The extensor tendon mechanism on the back of a finger is an extremely delicate and complex structure. The tendon divides into three slips or bands, which insert into different bones in the finger. There are two lateral bands and one central slip. Because the bands lie above the center of rotation of both joints, they act to extend or straighten the finger.


Boutonnière deformity is the result of an injury to the tendons that straighten the middle joint of the finger. The result is that the middle joint will not straighten while the fingertip bends back. It is also called a “central slip injury.” Up to 50% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop a boutonniere injury in at least one digit. It can also happen if the tendons in the finger are hit or cut (for instance, if the hand gets stepped on or crushed in a door). When this happens, the boutonnière deformity can be called a “jammed finger.” There are complications from boutonniere deformity that may happen with or without treatment. These include long-term swelling and stiffness, arthritis after the injury, impaired joint movement, and a greater chance of damaging the joint again. In rare occasions, boutonniere deformity can affect the toe.

Read more about Boutonnière Deformity on our new Colorado Springs Orthopedic News Site – Colorado Springs Orthopedic News. Schedule an appointment with a hip specialist today.

Symptoms of Trigger Finger

The complex anatomy of the hand consists of 27 bones, along with muscles, joints, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. If any of these structures become injured, pain and loss of function can put a damper on almost all activities. In other words, you rely on the use of your hands for almost everything you do on a daily basis. However, when you have constant pain and discomfort in your hands or wrists, these simple tasks become more difficult and uncomfortable. Some conditions, such as trigger finger, are not only painful, but also affect your appearance and function.

Any hand or wrist problem causing pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness or a tingling sensation, or abnormal shape, that persists for more than two or three days should be evaluated by your orthopedist to establish the cause, and allow treatment as early as possible. Early diagnosis and early treatment generally give the best results.

So, you notice that one day when making a fist, you try to straighten your fingers afterwards, when one catches when attempting to bring it back into a straight position, causing pain. After you go to a doctor to check it out, they diagnose you with a condition called trigger finger, caused by overuse.

Trigger finger, known medically as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that causes pain, locking, popping or clicking of the fingers or thumb when the hand is opened or closed. Muscles in your forearm attach to tendons that run all the way down to the bones at the ends of your fingers. These muscles are what help you bend your fingers into a fist. 

The reason why we are able to open and close our hand is due to our tendons being pulled close to the bones of the fingers by pulleys. If these pulleys become too thick, stiff, tight or swollen, commonly due to inflammation, this causes the finger to “trigger” or get stuck when trying to straighten your fingers after being in a fist. Therefore, if the tendon cannot glide freely, trigger finger occurs.

Symptoms of trigger finger can occur differently for people, which is why it is not always easy to identify the cause. In its early stages, trigger finger can cause pain on the palm of your hand, or on the back side of a finger. Trigger finger causes inflammation, creating symptoms of stiffness and swelling. As the muscles and tendons in our fingers give us the ability to move, when someone is diagnosed with trigger finger, there can be a painful snapping sensation when opening and closing the hand. Often one of our fingers can get stuck in a certain position, making it painful and impossible to straighten or bend it.

To learn more about trigger finger and its symptoms, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.