Trigger Finger

Trigger finger or thumb typically causes pain when the affected finger is bent  towards the palm and catches or clicks.

What are the causes?

Triggering occurs when a nodule develops in the tendon and this catches at the mouth of the tunnel the tendon glides in. For most patients the exact cause is unknown.  It is associated with diabetes and occasionally rheumatoid arthritis.  

What are the symptoms?

Pain at the site of the tunnel mouth in the palm can occur when the tendon gets caught or is released. Pain alone is less common. The finger or thumb can lock when bent which can impair function and may need releasing with the other hand. Stiffness of the joints in the finger can occur.

How is it diagnosed?

Your surgeon can usually make the diagnosis by asking about the symptoms you have and examining your hand. An ultrasound scan is occasionally needed.

How is it treated?

If symptoms are mild then avoidance of aggravating factors and steroid injections can be used.  If symptoms persist then surgery in the form of a trigger finger release can be performed.