So, here's something I feel everyone should know about, just because I had no idea about it until we took our daughter to the doc. Several months ago, she came in telling us that her finger hurt (it was really her thumb). Looking at it, it appeared that she had dislocated her thumb somehow. Pulling VERY gently on her thumb, we also discovered that we could straighten her thumb out. Naturally, we took her to the doctor.
After a few x-rays, we discovered that nothing was technically wrong with her hand. That's when the PA said, "I think she has trigger thumb and would like to refer you to a specialist." Huh? We had never heard of it! Apparently, there's a "pulley" in the base of her thumb that controls the tendon extending and bending her thumb. In trigger finger (or thumb), the tendon gets caught on the pulley when the digit is bent and doesn't straighten back out. The theory is that eventually the digit will no longer be able to extend.
At the specialist, he said that most kids have trigger thumb (or finger) until about 2 years of age. They generally grow out of it, but she didn't. The specialist was able to force her thumb straight. There was a loud POP and it went straight. She wasn't hurt by it, but it was startling!There aren't any conclusive studies on whether or not it affects their motor development, but he said most parents aren't willing to take the chance that it will. We went ahead with the surgery. It was VERY quick. We got there at 7:15 am and were on the way home by 10:30 am. She's all unbandaged now and healed up.
If you know someone who decided to wait, I would love to hear whether or not if affected their development. We have noticed that she seems to be doing things differently with her hand, so I personally think it was causing her to adjust to compensate for her thumb.