A condition that keeps people from straightening out their fingers has been connected to diabetes.
“Trigger finger,” as it’s called, is when one or more fingers — often a thumb or ring finger — get bent into the palm in a position that is difficult to straighten. The painful circumstance often requires cortisone shots and even surgery in severe cases, according to Neuroscience News.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have linked this phenomenon of thickening tendons to patients who suffer from both types of diabetes.
“At the hand surgery clinic, we have noted for a long time that people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, are more often affected by trigger finger,” said Mattias Rydberg, study author and doctoral student at Lund.
“Over 20% of those who require surgery for this condition are patients who have, or will develop, diabetes.”
The Scandinavian research also highlights a “pattern of blood sugar being a crucial factor for an increased risk of being affected by trigger finger,” according to the school. It was also noted that people with unregulated blood sugar have been more prone to “nerve entrapments” in their hands.
“In addition to nerve compressions and trigger finger, there may also be a link with thickening of the connective tissue in the palm (Dupuytren’s contracture), impairment of joint movement and the risk of arthritis at the base of the thumb,” Lund professor Lars B. Dahlin added.
“The mechanisms behind these complications probably differ in the case of diabetes.”
Next for the team is to chart how efficient operating on diabetes patients with trigger finger will be.
“From our experience at the clinic, surgery goes well and there are few complications, but it takes a little longer for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to regain full movement and function,” Rydberg said.
“Another interesting idea is to see if trigger finger could be a warning signal for type 2 diabetes.”