Dear Dr. Gott: Do you have an archive online or otherwise of past columns? In the past month or two, I think you had a column entry that discussed the condition known as trigger finger. In the past two weeks, my husband has had a flare-up of this condition. He is 47, and his 78-year-old mother also suffers with trigger finger.
Any advice or experience from you or my fellow readers/writers would be welcomed. Thank you.
Dear Reader: First, let me discuss your husband’s condition, and I’ll expand on your inquiry from there.
As you are aware, trigger finger is a condition in which a finger joint catches in a bent position. The joint appears as though the person has pulled the trigger of a gun. When the finger unlocks, it pops back suddenly, as if releasing that trigger, thus the name. Accompanying pain can often be controlled by icing and splinting or over-the-counter Advil, Aleve, Motrin and similar products. When OTCs fail to provide satisfactory results, it’s time to consult a physician to determine the next step, which might be a cortisone injection or surgical release under local anesthesia. The procedure is relatively common, and your primary-care physician should be able to direct you to a local surgeon who can provide relief to your husband.
In terms of his mother, she should weigh the degree of impact on her life. If she is truly troubled by the condition, her physician can review any other possible medical conditions that might have an impact on potential surgery and point her in the right direction for relief.
Now, for the second part of your inquiry. I have been holding on to your letter for a number of months, awaiting my entry into the 21st century. I must confess yet again that I’ve been rather proud all these years to be a member of the Lead Pencil Club and a technophobe, as well. I began my column with a pad of paper in front of me, answering every question that has appeared in my column. And, believe it or not, I still do just that. Medicine is my field of expertise, not machinery. My office staff, which does some research on my behalf, has backed me against a wall and demanded my entry into the computer age. After what has seemed like an excessively long period of preparation, I am pleased to announce that my column is now available at www.AskDrGottMD.com. I am aware of my name and material appearing on several other sites; however, this is the only “official” site.
Taking on the format of a newspaper column, it will contain new material and columns from the past. You can search for information on specific diseases and illnesses through dates of publication and can follow what my guest columnists have to say on a variety of medical topics. My initial plan is to run guest columns weekly, beginning on Sundays. Health Reports can be reviewed by title with readers being directed to download and print out an order blank for forwarding to the fulfillment center’s address in Ohio. Then there is a contact page for readers to write to me through the Web site with their questions and concerns. I welcome input, both positive and negative.
To test your question on trigger finger, I called up the site, typed in the words “trigger finger” and was immediately directed to my March 31, 2009, column titled “Recurring Trigger Finger Difficult to Treat.” You can do the same and review my comments from that column.