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Finger problems

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Joined: 12 Apr 2020
Posts: 49
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:00 pm    Post subject: Finger problems Reply with quote

A few weeks ago I awoke with significant swelling around the base of my three middle fingers on my right hand. Went to see the doctor and he speculated it might be that I jammed one of my fingers. Per his advice I’ve been resting and icing. A lot of the swelling has gone down and the remaining pain and swelling seems to localized around the second knuckle on my ring finger. I still can’t close it to make a fist. I’ve tried playing a couple times for very short periods with minimal finger pressure on the valves. The playing seems to loosen up the finger and it doesn’t really hurt. But then the next day the pain and swelling is worse. I’m beginning to get concerned that I’ve got some form of arthritis that is going to make it impossible to continue playing trumpet. I’m only in my early 40’s so it seems a bit early for this. Anyone have similar issues related to playing the trumpet? Anyone successfully switched to playing left handed? I understand only a doctor can properly diagnose what’s going on. Just curious about any similar experiences. Thanks.
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Joined: 07 Mar 2016
Posts: 726
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do. It’s not quite the same but sounds similar. I’m in my late 40s so not too far away from you. Since about a year ago when I wake up 2-3 fingers of my left hand feel stiff and „snap“ rather than bend properly. Takes about 30 to 60 minutes to release and moving the fingers helps. Does not hurt. Usually gets better after a hot shower.

Doctor told me it’s from computer work, which is possible, but the thing that makes me wonder is that I also have it when I am on vacation and don’t touch computers.

My hand does not swell, so that part I can’t really tell you much. For the time being, the only solution I have is hot water and flex the fingers. It does make playing the trumpet a little less comfortable but as it’s my left hand, I can deal with it.

You may want to check for arthritis, I have family members that got a head start around 40ish and my left thumb does behave suspicious …

Disclaimer: I have no clue about medicine other than putting on band aids …
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Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 4579

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First - I AM NOT A DOCTOR NOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. But I have had 5 trigger finger operations and two carpal tunnel operations. Two of the triggers and both carpals were done in 2020.

Prior to each operation I had a series of cortisone injections to see if those would fix the problems. There were several months between injections and altho they did offer relief, they did not remedy the issue.

Quite honestly, those injections were the most painful part of the entire experience for me. You pretty much get injected directly into the bone.

Yeah - hurts a BUNCH, but only for a short while.

I Lucked out and found a terrific orthopedist - Dr. Richard Chang, Mid-Jersey Orthopedics in Bridgewater, NJ. Highly recommend him if your in that area.

Going to see your doctors was the best thing to do. If the problem persists see them again.

The trigger and carpal operations I've had were all out-patient. Procedures these days are relatively simple (every operation comes with risks) and recovery time was a lot less than I thought.

I was prescribed with physical therapy after every procedure. If that happens with you go to the sessions religiously and follow the PT's instructions.

Hoping whatever has to happen to you both is similar to my experience - needed, not the most enjoyable but the results were worth it all.
Tim Wendt


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