Let’s Move Quad Cities: Trigger Finger Surgeries Help Local Woman Push Forward

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Imagine not being able to use your hands, because they hurt too much.

That's what Dr. Chris Hendricks, a retired Chiropractor, was dealing with on a daily basis just months ago. She would wake up with her hands clenched.

"I would make a fist and the finger itself would get stuck," she explained. "I had to physically pull it out and it was very, very painful."

That was Chris' left hand. On her right, she had the same issue with two fingers. The diagnosis was Trigger Finger.

"Trigger Finger is inflammatory disease or condition," explained Dr. Tobias Mann, ORA Orthopedics' new Hand Surgeon. "There's two types - one we call primary when patients don't have any underlying disease and one we call secondary when they have something like Diabetes or some inflammatory condition which can be the underlying cause."

It's a challenging condition for anyone, but for Chris - uses a wheelchair - it makes it very hard to move around.

"My hands are my feet and my arms are my legs," she said. "I was trying to lift the chair in and out of the car and sometimes when my fingers would lock, it would cause a little bit of an issue."

"For someone like her who needs her hands to get around, she needs to be able to grip her wheelchair, and every time she did that she had a lot of pain in her palms and that limited her mobility a lot," added Dr. Mann.

Dr. Mann performed surgery on each hand by making a small incision. He says the surgery can be done under local anesthesia and only takes about 10-15 minutes.

"It's immensely rewarding to be able to do a simple procedure for someone and then have them have a dramatic improvement in their quality of life," he said.

"Dr. Mann is a blessing," said Chris. "He is going to be a very, very important part of the Quad Cities and of ORA. He truly fills a need."

Chris is now doing her daily routine without the pain. She works on the computer, advocating for people with disabilities who need help finding a wheelchair or getting a ramp put onto their home.

She is also staying active by swimming at the North Family YMCA in Davenport.

"Individuals - whether they be handicapped or not - need to keep very fit and the longer and the more we get this message out, the better off the community is going to be," Chris said.