Trigger finger occurs when a finger or thumb gets stuck in a bent position, as if you were squeezing a trigger. Once it gets unstuck, the finger pops straight out, like a trigger being released.
In severe cases the finger cannot be straightened. Surgery is needed to correct it.
Tendons connect muscles to bones. When you tighten a muscle, it pulls on the tendon, and this causes the bone to move.
The tendons that move your finger slide through a tendon sheath (tunnel) as you bend your finger.
If you have a trigger finger:
Trigger finger can occur in both children and adults. It is more common in people who:
Trigger finger is diagnosed by medical history and a physical exam. Trigger finger usually does not require x-rays or lab tests.
In mild cases, the goal is to decrease swelling in the tunnel.
Self-care management mainly includes:
Your provider may also give you a shot of a medicine called cortisone. The shot goes into the tunnel that the tendon goes through. This can help reduce swelling. Your provider may try a second shot if the first one does not work.
You may need surgery if your finger is locked in a bent position or does not get better with other treatment. The surgery is done under local anesthesia or a nerve block. This prevents pain. You may be awake during surgery.
During the surgery your surgeon will:
If you notice signs of infection, call your surgeon right away. Signs of infection include:
If your trigger finger returns, call your surgeon. You may need another surgery.
If you have experienced an elbow, wrist or hand injury or are experiencing joint or nerve pain, call 1-855-NH-SPORT to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic sports medicine hand specialists to discuss how we can help you improve your quality of life or enhance your athletic performance.