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Trigger finger

‘Trigger finger’ injuries are a form of repetitive strain injury which occur when a worker locks their thumb or finger in a bent or straight position. The injury has been given that name as sufferers of the condition can look like they are pulling the trigger of a gun. In normal circumstances, the condition often disappears once the worker stops doing the work that caused the condition to arise in the first place.

In other circumstances a trigger finger injury can be the sign of a much more severe condition. Trigger finger is known to be one of the first signs of tendonitis, which can be a long-suffering, permanently debilitating condition.

The problem is that the symptoms for both regular trigger finger and tendonitis are often the same, with sufferers unable to grip objects adequately, and experiencing loss of mobility in the hand/fingers and a loss of strength.

The Effects of a Trigger Finger Injury

Workers are normally the people who experience trigger finger injuries. It often arises as a result of repetitive overuse of the hand. The tendons in the fingers are subjected to heavy strain, which over a period of time damages them. The condition is therefore common in workers who use power tools as part of their daily jobs.

Although it seems like a fairly manageable injury, some sufferers experience such a lack of mobility that they are unable to do many normal things in their everyday lives. This could include driving, opening doors or holding a knife. Additionally, sufferers may also experience discomfort and pain when they are sleeping.

Those that experience this level of discomfort may also find that they are unable to continue the job/career they were previously pursuing, as the condition can be so debilitating that any future repetition at work will cause the condition to flare up again. This can be quite hard for manual workers, as they may not be able to pursue a different manual job either. They will therefore have to consider switching industries, which may not be where their specific skill-set lay.

How Does Trigger Finger Occur at Work?

Trigger finger can often be a genetic order, which sparks up when the worker exposes their hands to repetitive, strenuous work. It could be related to a long-term illness, or arise as a product of repetitive working conditions.

Any work which causes strain to be placed on the tendons will therefore be at risk of causing the condition to occur. Those that constantly need to hold vibrating machinery can be at risk of this happening.

Normally the condition will resolve itself providing the sufferer abstains from the type of work which caused the injury to originally arise. In some circumstances, however, the injury will not go away on its own, and a course of steroid injections may be used as treatment. Depending on the nature and extent of the pain, keyhole surgery may also be needed.

Claiming Compensation

Where a doctor has confirmed that an individual is suffering from trigger finger, which has either arisen or has been made worse by that individual’s working conditions, the individual may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against their employer.

Employers will owe their employees a duty of care to ensure that they are not injured as a result of their working conditions. Trigger finger is included as such an injury.

The amount of compensation an individual will receive will depend on the nature and extent of the injury, as well as the amount of expenses the individual has amounted as a result of the injury.

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