Trigger Finger

A trigger finger does not straighten easily. The cause is not clear. It sometimes settles and goes away without treatment. An injection of steroid can usually cure the problem.

What is trigger finger?

trigger finger

A trigger finger (also called stenosing tenosynovitis) is a finger that becomes ‘locked’ after it’s been bent (flexed). it’s tough to straighten out without pull on it by the other hand.

You may hear a click when it’s pulled straight. This clicking could also be worse in the morning. sometimes there’s delicate pain and/or alittle swelling at the bottom of the affected finger.

One or more fingers could also be affected. Trigger finger most typically affects your pinkie, annualry or thumb. it’s truly more common in the right hand.

What causes trigger finger?

The cause is often not clear. It’s thought to ensue to some inflammation which causes swelling of a connective tissue or connective tissue sheath.

•           A connective tissue may be a strong tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. During this case the connective tissue comes from a muscle in the forearm. It passes through the palm and attaches to the finger bone. The muscle pull on this connective tissue bends (flexes) the finger towards the palm.

•           A connective tissue sheath is sort of a tunnel that covers and protects components of a connective tissue. Normally, the connective tissue slides easily in and out of the sheath as you bend and straighten the finger. In trigger finger the connective tissue can slide out of the sheath once you bend your finger. However, it cannot easily slide back in due to the swelling. The finger then remains bent (flexed) unless you pull it straight with your other hand.

Most cases occur for no apparent reason in healthy individuals. Around a pair of in a hundred individuals develop trigger finger. It’s more common if you are aged over forty and if you are female.

In some cases it occurs after you have used your palm a lot. For example, after jobs this concerned a lot of screwdriver use or working with tools that press on the palm. These might cause some inflammation in the palm.

Sometimes trigger finger occurs as a feature of another sickness. For example, trigger finger is more common in individuals with arthritis, sickness, diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome and in individuals on dialysis. In these situations you’ll have other symptoms of the condition and the trigger finger is simply one feature.

Note: the majority with trigger finger don’t have any of these conditions.

What is the treatment for trigger finger?

Not treating is an option at first

Around one in 5 individuals can improve with no treatment. merely resting the hand and permitting any inflammation to settle might resolve the problem without the necessity for treatment. You may be suggested to require some medicine medicines (for example, ibuprofen).


Your symptoms might improve if your finger (or thumb) is strapped to a plastic splint so that it’s fully straight. Some individuals wear a splint just at nighttime.

A steroid injection

A steroid injection into the connective tissue sheath is one treatment if the condition does not settle. The steroid is combined with a neighborhood anesthetic to make the injection less painful.

Steroids work by reducing inflammation. A finger splint could also be suggested for a number of days after the injection to rest the finger. This treatment works in concerning nine in ten cases. A second injection could also be needed if the first does not work.


An operation done under anesthetic agent could also be suggested if the above does not work. A little cut is sometimes made at the bottom of the finger and the connective tissue sheath is widened. The operation is mostly very winning.

An alternative operation may be a transdermal trigger finger release. A needle is employed to release the tight mouth of the tunnel so an open operation is avoided.

However, with an operation there’s a little risk of damaging the tiny finger nerve and inflicting some numbness to the finger. Also, as with any operation, there’s a little risk of any wound changing into infected.

What is trigger finger?

Trigger finger could be a “snapping” or “locking” condition of any of the digits of the hand once opened or closed. Trigger finger is medically termed stenosing synovitis.

What are symptoms of trigger finger?

Symptoms of trigger finger might occur once any of the four fingers of the hand makes an attempt to flex closed whereas gripping. rather than a sleek, continual closure, the digit hesitates, then snaps closed. Once trying to extend the digit, an analogous hesitation might occur before it “snaps” into full extension.

In severe cases, the digits should be manually brought into full extension or flexion. The closure is usually related to pain at the bottom of the digit on the palm of the hand. Triggering can even have an effect on the thumb.

What causes trigger finger?

Trigger finger is caused by native swelling from inflammation or scarring of the connective tissue sheath round the flexor muscle tendons. These are tendons that usually pull the affected digit inward toward the palm (flexion). Usually, trigger finger happens as an isolated condition owing to repetitive trauma.

Sometimes, trigger finger is an associated condition ensuing from an underlying disease that causes inflammation of tissues of the hand, such as rheumatoid inflammatory disease. In fact, knowledge conferred at the 2005 American faculty of medical specialty national meeting instructed that a majority of patients with autoimmune disorder have inflammation round the tendons of the palm of the hand that would be converted into trigger finger. 

What is the treatment for trigger finger?

Stretching, ice, and anti-inflammation treatments may be useful. Oral antiinflammatory medications that will be useful embody nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen,diclofenac, and others.

The fastest and handiest treatment could be a native Cortone Acetate injection into the connective tissue sheath round the affected connective tissue. Most patients can respond completely to the Cortone Acetate injection; however this might solely be a short lived response. once a trigger finger persists when 2 injections and isn’t attentive to the on top of treatments, surgical procedures to unleash the connective tissue sheath and/or take away the inflamed or scarred tissue area unit thought of. Surgical intervention is sometimes a permanent cure for this condition.

Trigger finger or stenosing synovitis could be a condition once the finger or thumb is “locked” during a bent position.

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger or stenosing synovitis could be a condition once the finger or thumb is “locked” during a bent position. The finger might click because it straightens – simulating a trigger being force and free during a gun.

Trigger Finger

What are the common causes?

The specific cause for trigger finger is typically not clear. However, individuals whose work or hobbies need repetitive grasping or fascinating movements, and work are at a better risk of developing this condition. Sometimes, trigger fingers could also be related to medical conditions like arthritis and polygenic disorder.

Trigger finger is caused by inflammation and swelling of the connective tissue or connective tissue sheath.

•           A connective tissue is sort of a rope that attaches the muscle to the bone. because the muscle pulls on the connective tissue, the finger can bend towards the palm.

•           Tendon sheath is sort of a cowl that wraps round the connective tissue to assist it glide swimmingly once the finger bends and straightens.

•           Pulleys form a tunnel to carry the connective tissue near the bone.

Swelling makes it tough for the connective tissue to glide through the block tunnel, leading to triggering.

Swelling makes it tough for the connective tissue to glide through the block tunnel, leading to triggering

What are the signs and symptoms?

•           Pain and swelling at the bottom of the finger or thumb.

•           Clicking or triggering once the affected finger moves.

•           Involved finger is fastened during a bent position.

•           Finger stiffness, particularly within the morning.

What sorts of treatment are available?

Hand medical aid

The primary goal of medical aid is to assist you to come back to a painless participation in your work and daily activities, and minimise or eliminate prevalence of trigger finger / thumb.

The expert can illustrate to you what Trigger Finger / or Stenosing synovitis is, so you’ll have a much better understanding of what you’ll do to cut back your pain. you may additionally means} to change the way you perform your daily activities thus on avoid repetition of the symptoms.

As the initial stage of medical aid involves managing the pain and swelling, a splint are going to be created for you to rest the concerned structures. you’re suggested to wear it for a minimum of half dozen weeks. The splint limits movement of your affected finger / thumb, so permitting the inflamed connective tissues and / or tendon sheaths to own a rest. so even with the splint on, you may be able to continue mistreatment your hand to try and do light-weight activities.

You will be educated easy exercises to maneuver your affected finger / thumb to stop joint stiffness.

What am i able to do to assist myself?

How am i able to forestall it?

1.         Avoid activity repetitive grasping or grasp-and-release motions. Such motions, significantly once performed with a sustained pinch, are common causes of developing a trigger finger. Tasks to avoid embody wringing clothes/towel/mop, cutting with a try of scissors and plant-pruning.

AVOID: 2. using scissors repetitively 2. Having tight grip on the pen

3.         Avoid mistreatment power grips. an influence grip is once your fingers, or typically palm, hold onto associate object together with your thumb providing the counter pressure. Examples area unit after you area unit employing a hammer, opening a jar, doing pull-ups or holding your wheel once driving.

Power Grip

How am i able to help myself once I actually have it?

1.         Take frequent short breaks. If you’re unable to avoid the repetitive and forceful fascinating actions throughout an activity, you must create an attempt to intersperse it with different lighter tasks, or take regular breaks to try and do some stretches.


1.         how long do I actually have to wear the splint? Splinting is suggested for a minimum of six weeks.

2.         what number sessions of medical aid do I actually have to attend? It depends on the severity of your trigger finger/thumb. a light case of trigger finger/thumb might solely need a few of medical aid sessions.

3.         Will conservative (non surgical) treatment facilitate to alleviate my symptoms? analysis has shown that the speed of self-made outcomes with splinting will be from 70%3 up to 92.9%.

4.         Can the symptoms return? Unless you create a shot to alter the means you perform your daily activities and work, the symptoms will recur.

trigger finger

The treatment for trigger finger depends on the severity of your symptoms and the way long you have got had them.

Some cases of trigger finger recuperate while not treatment, thus your doctor could advocate that you simply avoid activities that cause the pain to check whether or not this helps relieve your symptoms.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug medication (NSAIDs), such asibuprofen, may additionally be useful in relieving any pain.


Strapping your affected finger or thumb to a plastic splint will ease your symptoms by stopping your finger from moving. If your finger is especially stiff within the morning, it’s going to facilitate to use a splint long. Your doctor will advise you the way long you would like to wear the splint for.

While employing a splint will be useful for a few individuals, it’s typically less effective than the opposite treatments delineated below, significantly within the long-run.

Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroids are medicines which will be used to scale back swelling. In cases of trigger finger, liquid corticosteroids are injected into the sinew sheath (the tunnel that the sinew slides through), at the bottom of your affected finger or thumb.

Corticosteroids are thought to work as a result of they cut back swelling of the sinew, permitting the sinew to maneuver freely once more. this will typically happen inside some days of getting the injection, however it always takes some weeks.

Corticosteroid injections are calculable to be a good treatment for 50–80% of individuals with trigger finger. However, they’re typically less effective in folks with sure underlying health conditions, like polygenic disorder and autoimmune disorder.

A adrenal cortical steroid injection will permanently improve trigger finger, however the matter recurs once treatment in some cases. You’ll have a second injection if the impact wears off, however this can be typically less effective than the primary injection.

The risks of adrenal cortical steroid injections for trigger finger are tiny; however it very often causes some cutting or color amendment within the skin at the positioning of injection. There’s conjointly a very tiny risk of infection.


If the above treatments don’t work or are unsuitable, surgery could also be counseled. This involves cutting through the affected section of the sinew sheath that attaches the sinew to the bone in your finger, in order that your sinew will move freely once more.

Whether surgery is suggested can rely on what quantity pain you’re in, whether or not it’s related to alternative medical issues, like autoimmune disorder, and the way abundant it’s poignant your life.

In most cases, trigger finger may be a nuisance instead of a significant condition. However, if it’s not treated, the affected finger or thumb could become for good stuck during a bent position or, less normally, during a straightened position. this will create it tough to carry out everyday tasks.

Surgery is incredibly effective and it’s rare for the matter to recur within the treated finger or thumb, though you may have to be compelled to take a while off work and there’s a risk of complications.

The operation takes around twenty minutes, and you may not have to be compelled to keep in hospital long. The procedure is sometimes performed below topical anaesthetic, thus you may be awake however unable to feel any pain in your hand.

There are 2 styles of surgery:

•           open trigger finger unleash surgery

•           percutaneous trigger finger unleash surgery

If you’ve got autoimmune disorder, these styles of surgery might not be counseled as a result of they’ll cause your finger to drift sideways. Instead, a special procedure, referred to as a tenosynovectomy, could also be necessary. This involves removing a part of the sinew sheath to permit the sinew to maneuver once more.

Open trigger finger unleash surgery

If you’ve got open trigger finger unleash surgery, the operating surgeon can provide you with associate injection of topical anaesthetic into the palm of your hand.

A small incision (cut) is created within the palm of your hand on one amongst the natural creases, which can mean the scar are less noticeable. The operating surgeon rigorously cuts through the sinew sheath to create it wider. The wound can then be closed with stitches and coated with a light-weight bandage.

Percutaneous trigger finger unleash surgery

Percutaneous suggests that ‘through the skin’. like the open technique of surgery, the operating surgeon can inject your hand with a neighborhood anaesthetic. However, rather than creating associate incision in your palm, a needle is inserted into the bottom of the affected finger. The needles are accustomed slice into the ligament.

As connective tissue surgery doesn’t involve an incision, you may not have a wound or scar. However, the procedure is slightly more dangerous than open surgery and will be less effective at partitioning the matter. necessary nerves and arteries are very near the sinew sheath and these will simply be broken. For this reason, open surgery is sometimes the popular technique.

Recovering from surgery

After the procedure, you ought to be ready to move your finger straightaway. The dressings will sometimes be removed once a couple of days to create movement easier, and full movement ought to come back within a week or 2.

If you’ve got had open surgery, your palm could feel sore straightaway once the procedure, however any discomfort ought to pass within period of time.

•           You will begin driving once more as before long as you are feeling it’s safe for you to drive, that is typically after 3 to 5 days.

•           You could also be ready to write and use a laptop straightaway.

•           You will play sports once around 2 or 3 weeks, once your wound has well and you’ll grip once more.

•           When you’ll come back to figure can rely on your job. If you’ve got a desk job or employment that involves lightweight manual duties, you’ll not want any time without work work. If your job involves labor, you’ll want up to four weeks off.

If you have had surgery on quite one finger, your recovery amount could also be longer.

If you have had connective tissue surgery instead of open trigger finger release surgery, your recovery amount could also be shorter, as you may not have a wound on your palm.

Caring for your wound

If you’ve got open surgery, your operating surgeon ought to tell you the way to worry for the wound in your palm. Washing it with gentle soap and heated water is all that’s sometimes needed.

If you’ve got stitches, you may be told if you would like to come back to hospital to possess them removed. Some stitches are soluble and can disappear on their own in around 3 weeks.

You may be left with alittle scar running on your palm, wherever the incision was created.

Hand medical care

If your finger was quite stiff before surgery, you’ll want specialised hand medical care once your operation to loosen it. Discuss this together with your operating surgeon before the operation. the kind of medical care could include:

•           Physiotherapy – manipulation, massage and exercise will facilitate improve your vary of movement.

•           Occupational medical care – if you’re battling everyday tasks and activities, either at work or reception, associate activity expert can provide you with sensible support to create those tasks easier.

Complications from surgery

Trigger finger unleash surgery may be a safe procedure. However, like any kind of surgery, there are some risks. Complications are rare, however may include:

•           infection

•           stiffness or pain within the finger

•           a tender scar

•           nerve harm (if a nerve is broken throughout surgery, you’ll never recover the complete sensation within the affected area)

•           tendon bowstringing, wherever the sinew is within the wrong position

•           complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), that causes pain and swelling in your hand once surgery – this sometimes resolves itself once some months, however there will be permanent issues.