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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Trigger Finger Questions...PLease Help!

Topic: Trigger Finger Questions...PLease Help!

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Oct 10, 2008 10:03PM

Susan1120 wrote:

Hi Ladies,

 Today I was diagnosed with "trigger thumb" and it appears the same thing is happening to my pinky. (Joints start making popping sound and lock up, if NOT treated!) The specialist I saw told me this is only caused by diabetes or thyroid problems. I told him I was on Femara an aromotase inhibitor and I thought that is what mine came from. So I am doing a survey to see how many of us were "blessed" with the thumb or finger issue. I plan on taking it back to him when I return for follow up visit. So if you could please answer these questions if they apply to you. Thank YOU ALL!  Questions below......

 1. Are you or were you diagnosed with "trigger finger" while on an AI?

 2. If so were you also diabetic?

 3. Or did you have thyroid issues also?

for those not on AI's and triple negs..

 1. Are you diabetic and diagnosed with "trigger finger or thumb"?

 2. Have Thyroid issues and diagnosed with "trigger finger or thumb"?

Again thank you so much for your help. I truly appreciate it!

This issue is NOT fun LOL! Mine is pretty bad, got a cortizone shot and it hurts tonight. Praying for relief soon. If shots don't help, I will have a small surgical procedure. The reason for my asking these questions is because I am not diabetic and NO thyroid issues either! (as far as I know). My MOM is diabetic, but so far Thank You GOD! I am not. This didn't happen to me until beggining Femara. Trying to see if there is a correlation here!

Thank you,
Susan

Dx 11/21/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 9, 2009 03:41AM Nico1012 wrote:

ktn ~
On page one of this thread weesa describes an exercise that I have been doing now for about 2 weeks. The improvement in my thumb and index finger is dramatic! I also dip my hand in a hot wax bath before doing the exercise which helps stretch the tendons. Glucosamine and fish oil caps daily have also helped. Some of the ladies on other threads have said that sore muscle relief creams like Jointflex have also helped. Good luck to you in your treatment for this, I hope some of this info is helpful.

Nico

Dx 4/2/2008, IDC, 2cm, Grade 3, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 19, 2009 11:23AM mahopk wrote:

I had BC on both sides - estrogen positive and triple neg, and had bilateral mastectomies and 6 mos. of ACT chemo.  Now 4 mos. after the end of chemo I have a painful right hand -  1 finger and thumb are locking up (trigger finger) and my middle finger had a ganglion cyst (painful aching joint and a lump, which has gone down some but still extremely painful.  I have had repeated cortisone shots, which sometimes help, and I use the topical cream and mobic.  I don't think anything really helps.  My affected fingers feel warm to the touch and are swollen.  I am trying to learn to use my left hand (I'm right-handed), for my right hand is practically useless (hurts like ##@@@ whenever I try to use it, which is a thousand times/day.  Yes, I tried splints, too.  I think it's caused by lack of estrogen from chemo and sudden menopause after quitting estrogen pills.  I refused to take an AI because I don't want to suffer the se's.  So...I think it is basically lack of estrogen that is causing all this.  I think I'll go look for soy milk and drink lots of it.  BTW, my onc doc says there is no connection to chemo!!!  Go figure.  He is wrong, wrong, wrong.

mahopk
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Jul 14, 2010 07:27PM lwd wrote:

I have been on Femara for 18 months.  A month ago I started noticing trigger finger in my right middle finger when I first woke up.  Now I have it occasionally during the day.  Today I noticed it is starting in my left hand, pinky finger.  There is no pain associated with these fingers, but I do have some pain in my wrists, and have had for some time.  I have no diabetes, but have been on low dose thyroid medication for about 10 years.  I think the Femara is causing this, since I also have muscle and joint pain, which began about 8 months after taking Femara.

Lane Dx 2/4/2009, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2009 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2012 Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2012 Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Mar 10, 2011 06:36PM Tolstoycat wrote:

My experience with trigger thumb happened about a month after my thyroid was taken out.  Both thumbs started hurting very badly.  I tried the cortisone shot, and it didn't help.  So I saw a hand surgeon and had the surgery which caused no pain at all.  It completely solved the problem.  I have type 2 Diabetes as well, and the thyroid had been taken out due to Papillary Thyroid Cancer.  I study reflexology a little bit and noticed that the thyroid and the thumbs are both in the first meridian (Chinese system) which made perfect sense.  The hand surgeon's assistant told me that a vast number of patients who have trigger finger surgery are either diabetic or they have thyroid problems. 

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Nov 16, 2012 09:31AM Rockym wrote:

I want to bump this post.  My left middle and ring finger each have developed "trigger finger."  No hormonals for me, so I'm not sure where this came from.  Chemo maybe?  Instant menopause at 47??  I'm not sure what to do about it yet since it's only been about 2 weeks.  Thought it was possibly lymphedema related, but I don't think so now.  It is just a coincidence that it is on my left side.

Since I was the picture of health before BC, this has to be BC related...

Just when I'm about to make ends meet, someone moves the ends. Dx 6/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 19, 2012 06:56PM Rockym wrote:

Anyone have this happen??

Just when I'm about to make ends meet, someone moves the ends. Dx 6/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 30, 2012 10:05PM overjoyed4life wrote:

Same here. Left thumb and middle finger. I get cortisone injections for it. It has to be from the AL's. I never had it before taking them.

Sharon Dx 6/5/2010, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 1, 22/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/19/2010 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Surgery 1/10/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 1/31/2011 Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Dx 6/30/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Dec 1, 2012 12:09PM LindaKR wrote:

I had them too, after about 6 months they stopped, I think it was due to the AI's also!

Modified Radical MX w/axillary dissection; 6xTCH, Hercpetin for a year, Rads, trying 3rd AI Aromasin. No Reconstruction. Lymphedema. Dx 3/19/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/2/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 5/15/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/15/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/25/2010 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Dec 1, 2012 12:25PM Galsal wrote:

Ironically, I've had problems with the right hand for years due to an injury accident in the Army.  The thumb randomly gets the Tendonitis and there's nerve issues with the fingers.  Most tests do not point to CTS.  Over the years, I've been through OT and PT for it, the thumb and hand and arm and shoulder and neck.  The injury tied them all together.

The right hand had slowly been trying to start up again and has progressed greatly.  Is it ironic that when it was getting worse I had just begun taking Arimidex?  I don't know.  I've seen my PCP who ordered an EMG, Xrays, MRI, blood tests, etc.  Later this month I'll be seeing the Onc and will bring this to her attention.  For that matter, the almost daily headache since I began on it.  Unfortunately, 24 hours before starting Arimidex I was injected with Lupron too.  God only knows what is causing what.

The best wishes to all.

Dx 12/14/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/6/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 12/13/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Dec 1, 2012 02:32PM LindaKR wrote:

GalSal - God only knows what is causing what. What a true statement, I'm always wondering, is that pain from this treatment, or that treatment, or because I got both.......  Somedays I think I'll drive myself crazy trying to figure out why I have XXXX side effect now. Tongue Out

Modified Radical MX w/axillary dissection; 6xTCH, Hercpetin for a year, Rads, trying 3rd AI Aromasin. No Reconstruction. Lymphedema. Dx 3/19/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/2/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 5/15/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/15/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/25/2010 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Dec 1, 2012 08:15PM Rockym wrote:

As my avatar says, 1964!  There is no way in heck that these fingers would have happened.  I think it's my mild LE and perhaps the chemo I went through.  I tried Tamoxifen and it didn't sit well with me.  I was offered Arimidex (since I am now post-menopausal), but declined for now.  The other deal is that it could be from premature menopause and abrupt lack of estrogen.  I just hope it goes away :-(.

Just when I'm about to make ends meet, someone moves the ends. Dx 6/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2012 09:06AM leggo wrote:

I blame Femara. I had it in both thumbs. The left was particularly bad and eventually a surgeon cut the sheath holding the tendon to ease the pain. Once I stopped taking Femara, the right thumb resolved on it's own. To answer the original post, no diabetes, but did have thyroid issue (cancer). Left lobe of thyroid was removed, however that was ten years prior to the trigger finger so I doubt that was a factor, but who knows.

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Dec 2, 2012 01:30PM Rockym wrote:

I wonder how old everyone is??  I started a post for the mods to somehow incorporate our birth years (if the individual wants) into either our avatar section or our sig lines.  There was a bit of discussion on it because age really makes a difference with some of these conditions.  I just turned 48 and NEVER had a physical aliment before BC.  Heck, I only saw my GP once every few years for perhaps a sinus infection.  I am totally convinced that my fingers are related to my past treatment.  However, if someone out there is let's say 65, then perhaps the trigger finger could lean toward age.  Who knows... just want it gone :-)!

Just when I'm about to make ends meet, someone moves the ends. Dx 6/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 7, 2013 08:22PM Dandylion wrote:

Hello,

I joined the group today just so I could answer your questions. I don't have breast cancer, but ovarian cancer. The tumor was estrogen positive so after 2 recurrences I was given Femara. After 3 months I developed really bad Trigger Finger. I couldn't even sign my signature. I was sure it was the Femara but my doctor asked me to continue for another 6 weeks. I did and the thumb was more swollen and hurt. I took myself off the drug and made an appointment for a hand doctor. A month later I still had the Trigger Finger and I had to wait the month to see the doctor. The doctor took an x-ray which showed no arthritis or anything abnormal. She gave me a cortisone shot at the base of my thumb. That was about a month ago. My Trigger Finger is almost gone, I can write, don't notice any pain in my thumb. Almost all the clicking is gone and I can bend my thumb the same as my other one. I have continued to be off Femara and will talk with my oncologist in another two weeks or so. Let's see if I got all your questions:

1. Are you or were you diagnosed with "trigger finger" while on an AI? YES

2. If so were you also diabetic? NO

3. Or did you have thyroid issues also? I HAVE BEEN TAKING SYNTROID FOR MANY YEARS.

for those not on AI's and triple negs..

1. Are you diabetic and diagnosed with "trigger finger or thumb"? NO

2. Have Thyroid issues and diagnosed with "trigger finger or thumb"? LONG STANDING THYROID BUT NOT CONNECTED TO TRIGGER FINGER.

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Dec 7, 2013 11:43PM Blessings2011 wrote:

Trigger finger and trigger thumb are documented side effects of the AI drugs.

It's too bad more docs and Hand Specialists aren't aware of this.

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/4/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 8, 2013 12:24AM Rockym wrote:

When I posted a year ago the trigger finger situation had just started for me. It eventually went to the thumb too. I had injections in February 2012 and the fingers felt great, but 3 months later the triggers were back. I went in again and the shots helped, but only for another 3 months. In October of this year I had surgery on all three fingers. This was the only way to fix the problem permanently. My doctor told me that after the 2 injections the thumb and fingers were not going to get better and for me the pain was just too much. I only took Tamoxifin for 2 weeks, so I am still convinved it was the chemo. Hard for any of us to really know.

Just when I'm about to make ends meet, someone moves the ends. Dx 6/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 11, 2013 09:53AM LindaKR wrote:

i had several fingers that did the trigger finger thing, then after 6 monyhs-ish they stopped one day. It traveled from finger to finger, then stopped. In didn't change anything. I'm sure it was from the aromasin. Not diabetic, on synthroid. I have had transient pain issues on aromasin, I think 1is gone and another pops up. :-(

Modified Radical MX w/axillary dissection; 6xTCH, Hercpetin for a year, Rads, trying 3rd AI Aromasin. No Reconstruction. Lymphedema. Dx 3/19/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/2/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 5/15/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/15/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/25/2010 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 22, 2014 05:59PM KimManSack wrote:

in Answer to your q's:

QUOTE:

So if you could please answer these questions if they apply to you. Thank YOU ALL!  Questions below......

 1. Are you or were you diagnosed with "trigger finger" while on an AI?

YES, SELF DIAGNOSED. MOSTLY LEFT PINKY & MIDDLE FINGER SOME THUMB.  I WAS BILATERAL DBLE MAST. 12/12/12 BUT LEFT SIDE WAS THE MOST SURGERY DUE TO LYMPH INVOLVEMENT.

 2. If so were you also diabetic?

I WAS PREDIABETIC PRIOR TO SURGERY AND CHEMO BUT I GOT IT UNDER CONTROL BY DIET ALONE DURING CHEMO AND BEFORE RADIATION (AND ELECTIVE SALPINGO OOPHORECTOMY - WHICH FURTHER LOWERED ESTROGEN) AND WAY PRIOR TO MY ADJUVANT ARIMIDEX (5 - 10 YEAR THERAPY)  

 3. Or did you have thyroid issues also?

NO, BUT I'M OBESE STILL - LOST 35 LBS AND STILL WORKING OUT 3 X'S A WEEK OR MORE.

PS-  AFTER 2-3 MONTHS ON AI DRUG, I DEVELOPED JOINT CLICKING AND LOCKING UP.  TRIGGER FINGER. TENDONITIS.

I HAVE CUT OUT MEAT, PURINES, EXTRA PROTEIN IN DIET. (GOUT?)  I AM CAREFULLY WATCHING SUGAR INTAKE (DIABETES), AND STRETCHING HAND AND FINGERS REGULARLY (LATENT LYMPHEDEMA) , AND TAKING ASPRIN DAILY (NSAI). I AM SITTING OUTSIDE FACING THE SUN WITH FOREHEAD UNCOVERED ON SUNNY DAYS ABOUT 15 MINUTES IF POSSIBLE FOR VITAMINE D DEFICIENCY.  I DID DISCONTINUE MY AI (ARIMIDEX) WITHOUT TELLING MY MD FOR ONE MONTH BUT THAT (ALONE) DID NOT RELIEVE MY PAIN AND PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS.  STRETCHING EACH FINGER AND WRIST SEEMS TO BE THE BEST HELP.  ALL DIRECTIONS.  REALLY PUSH IT.  I HAVE NOT TRIED CORTIZONE BUT MAY CONSIDER IT IF IT GETS WORSE.  IT REALLY HURTS AND I AM DROPPING STUFF.  THERE ARE NO RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PROBLEMS IN MY LARGE FAMILY OF ORIGEN.   

FOLLOWING Q'S DO NOT APPLY AS I WAS DIAGNOSED Estrogen/progesterone positive.   

for those not on AI's and triple negs..

 1. Are you diabetic and diagnosed with "trigger finger or thumb"?

 2. Have Thyroid issues and diagnosed with "trigger finger or thumb"?

Again thank you so much for your help. I truly appreciate it!

-Kim S. Dx 11/7/2012, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 4, 2017 07:34PM Thistlesue wrote:

hi there ladies. I just posted another post a few moments ago but was not sure of the spelling of a potential “fix“ for trigger finger if you are on Femara also known as letrozole. Check your doctor about taking oral doses of hyaluronic acid. I have spoken to people who saythat it actually works on these joint pains in the hands. Good luck and be well.

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Dec 6, 2017 10:39AM claireinaz wrote:

Thank you Thistlesue...I am finding intermittent hip pain (joint) and some in fingers and wrists from time to time. Good info!

9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen/arimidex/aromasin, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "In the midst of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
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Dec 6, 2017 10:54AM SpecialK wrote:

FYI - this info might make you think twice about HA. I found that isolating the trigger finger with Coban tape, or self stick elastic tape wrapped around a couple of times, and following an anti-inflammatory diet reduced trigger issues for me. I have had both thumbs, wedding ring finger, a toe, and ankle.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25134379

http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/hyaluronicacid.html

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 14 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Dec 7, 2017 06:20AM Meow13 wrote:

yes I had trigger finger on anastrozole. It hasn't come since I stopped AI drugs.

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