Trigger Finger


Trigger Finger is a condition that causes much pain and directly affects the tendons within the hand.

Also known as Stenosing Tenosynovitis, Trigger Finger is a condition that causes the finger or thumb to click or lock into place if moved a certain way and becomes stuck in a bent position. It is usually found to occur in the middle finger or the thumb. This condition is generally associated with the joint feeling like it is popping out of place even if there has been no previous injury to that joint. During the early stages of this condition, the patient may feel pain at the base of the finger without it getting stuck or ‘snapping’. In more severe cases the finger can become locked usually in a bent position but sometimes in a straight position.

What are the symptoms of Trigger Finger?

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Soreness in the palm
  • Stiffness in the finger or digit
  • Tenderness
  • Nodule developing at the base of the finger
  • Popping or clicking feeling when attempting to move the finger

If you are:

  • A woman
  • Over 40 years of age
  • Have certain medical conditions
  • Have diabetes

You may be at a larger risk of developing this condition, as Trigger Finger is more common in all of the above patients.

What causes Trigger Finger?

This condition usually occurs if there is an issue or problem with the flexor tendons in the hand such as swelling. This causes the tendons to become stuck and unable to slide as they normally would through the proper sheaths in the hand – causing the thumb or finger to become frozen in place.

How can it be treated?

For early or mild cases of Trigger Finger, we would not generally recommend surgery as we find that other less invasive treatments such as splinting, warm water soaks and rehabilitative exercises can be highly effective. We will also prescribe no steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve inflammation and pain. If this does not achieve relief we may recommend a steroid injection which has also proven highly effective.

If the steroid injection does not resolve the issue, then we will suggest surgery which will involve a small incision to be made while the patient is under local anaesthetic to release the tendons and provide immediate relief. After surgery it is normal to experience some pain and soreness at the site of the surgery for several weeks.

For more information on treatment for trigger finger, contact Coastal Plastic Surgery to arrange a consultation with one of our specialists.

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