Strangely, despite many excellent design elements, there seem to be a few significant flaws in the human body.
The one the troubles me the most at my age, is that at 40, there seems to be a use-by-date on a number of structures. The most obvious is the lack of eggs for reproduction, but this awful affliction also affects the musculoskeletal (bone and joint) system.
The tendons which flex the fingers are secured to the bone by a number of bridges which are known as pulleys. Unfortunately with age, and diabetes, these tendons swell. They then rub on the bridges and form a perfect storm of inflammation. Eventually the tendon is so swollen that the patient can pull them through the bridge but without using the other hand, they can't straighten them. With the application of force, they 'pop' back - sometimes accompanied by severe pain! Quite a strange state of affairs if you think about it.
The treatment options include:
1. anti-inflammatories - useful in a mild case
2. splint - by preventing flexion of the finger, then it can't get trapped
3. steroids - these may be very useful if the swelling is still quite soft and pliable
4. surgery - by releasing the bridge over the tendon, it is once again, able to move. This is done under local anaesthetic as a day surgery procedure.
Orthopaedic Surgeon in Cairns, Far North Queensland