Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger Overview

Trigger finger occurs when a finger catches or locks as it flexes or straightens. Trigger finger symptoms make it difficult to use the fingers and hand, especially if the finger remains locked. An appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) hand specialist should be made as soon as symptoms present. Delaying treatment makes trigger finger worse.

Symptoms & Causes

Trigger finger symptoms include:

  • A catching, locking or popping sensation when the finger moves
  • A tender lump
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

Common trigger finger risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Occupations that involve forceful or frequent hand and finger use
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Common Treatments:

An early trigger finger diagnosis is very important because nonsurgical treatment options can be used to effectively reduce symptoms and prevent the condition from becoming worse. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA hand specialist may recommend:

  • A corticosteroid injection
  • A custom made splint
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Rest
  • Stretching exercises

Surgery may be recommended to treat severe trigger finger, especially if the finger remains in a locked position. During a trigger finger release, a CONA hand specialist carefully excises the tendon sheath so the tendon has more room to move. Symptoms dramatically decrease shortly if not immediately after the procedure.

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