Trigger finger: What do I need to report?


Beating up the pattern in a Piper.
First: Thanks Dr. Florkowski for volunteering here and helping us!

My first time running into issues (and it might not even be one) since I started flying about 10 years ago. I had shooting pain in my left hand - and put it down to Carpal Tunnel given I work in IT. Finally went in and had a specialist look at it and was diagnosed as "trigger finger caused by a nodule in the flexor tendon". I have no problems with day-to-day tasks and no pain over the course of the day. Only real pain is when waking up in the morning. Fist is clenched shut, and takes about 20 minutes to undo. Once completed... no problems.

Hand specialist recommends out-patient surgery or a shot of cortisone (or some steroid) to end this discomfort.

If I chose either - what do I need to report? When? How? Or does this not need to be reported at all?



Well-Known Member
Hi Shiftace.

I'm assuming that you hold a 2nd or 3rd class medical by your username. Regardless of whether you pursue physical therapy, cortisone injections, or surgery, you should list it at your next medical.

Bring a current status report from your treating physician that includes functional status (degree of impairment, pain), and medications/ any side effects.

From the description of your trigger finger I don't believe you should have an issue getting your next medical.

Best Regards,

Aaron Florkowski, MD
FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner