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Trigger thumb release is a minor procedure which involves the release of a tight tunnel or “pulley” that limits normal movement of a child’s thumb. We do surgery through a tiny incision. 



After Surgery

During the next 48–72 hours, your child might have some soreness, bruising and swelling. For a while, your child’s thumb might be sore and hard to bend. As the thumb heals, the pain will go away. You can give pain medicine to reduce your child’s pain. 


Caring for Your Child

Keep your child’s hand elevated above the level of the heart as much as possible for the first 24 hours after surgery. Elevating the hand reduces the swelling that might cause pain. Keep the dressing on your child’s hand clean and dry. Try to have your child bend the thumb as much as possible to keep it from getting stiff. 


Eating and Drinking

Follow the guidelines as outlined in the patient education handout called Anesthesia: General Discharge Instructions.


Call your doctor if your child:

  • Has pain that doesn’t get better with pain medicine 
  • Has more swelling, warmth, redness or pain in the surgery area 
  • Doesn’t urinate within 6–8 hours after surgery 
  • Continues to have upset stomach or vomiting 
  • Has a temperature higher than:
    • 101 F (38.4 C) by mouth
    • 100 F (37.8 C) under the arm

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.