Parent holding hands with their child

Children's Hand Treatments

Trigger thumb and trigger finger in children: Overview

A trigger thumb is a thumb stuck in a bent position. It can also happen to a finger. It happens when the tendon that bends and straightens the thumb or finger can't slide smoothly under the ligaments that hold the tendon against the bones. In most cases, this is caused by a bump (nodule) that forms on the tendon. The cause of the bump isn't known. Some cases may be caused by inflammation or problems with how the muscle develops.

Your child's bent thumb or finger may straighten out on its own.

A trigger thumb or finger can be painful. But it normally isn't a serious problem. Rest and exercises may help the thumb or finger relax so that it can move freely.

The doctor may put a splint on your child's thumb or finger. This will give it some rest. Your child may need surgery if the thumb or finger keeps locking in a bent position.

Nursemaid's elbow in children: Overview

Your child has an injury called nursemaid's elbow. Nursemaid's elbow occurs when one of the bones in the forearm slips out of position at the elbow. It can happen during play or when an adult pulls a child up over a curb or other obstacle. It also can happen when a child's hand is pulled through the sleeve of a sweater or coat. Nursemaid's elbow is common in children between ages 1 and 4. As children grow, their arms get stronger and they no longer get this type of injury.

The doctor may have moved the elbow back in place. This injury usually heals quickly and without permanent damage.

Ganglions in children: Overview

A ganglion is a small sac, or cyst, filled with a clear fluid that is like jelly. A ganglion may look like a bump on the hand or wrist. It also can appear on the feet, ankles, knees, or shoulders. It is not cancer. A ganglion can grow out of the protective area, or capsule, around a joint. It also can grow on a tendon sheath, which covers the ropelike tendons that connect muscle to bone. A ganglion may hurt or cause numbness if it presses on a nerve.

Many ganglions do not need treatment, and they often go away on their own. But if a ganglion hurts, causes numbness, or limits activity, the doctor may want to drain it with a needle and syringe or remove it with minor surgery.