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What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger occurs when the flexor tendon, which helps bend your fingers, becomes inflamed and swollen. This inflammation can cause the tendon to catch or get stuck in the sheath that surrounds it, making it difficult to straighten the finger. The condition can affect any finger, including the thumb, and may involve more than one finger at a time.

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors can contribute to the development of trigger finger:

  • Repetitive Gripping: Activities that involve repetitive or forceful gripping can irritate the flexor tendon.
  • Medical Conditions: Conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are associated with a higher risk of developing trigger finger.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop trigger finger than men.
  • Age: The condition is more common in people over 40.
  • Occupational Risks: Jobs that involve prolonged gripping or hand strain can increase the risk of trigger finger.


Symptoms of trigger finger can vary in severity and may include:

  • Discomfort or pain at the base of the affected finger or thumb, particularly when gripping or grasping
  • Stiffness in the finger, especially in the morning
  • A noticeable clicking or popping sensation when moving the finger
  • The finger may get stuck in a bent position and then suddenly pop straight
  • A bump or nodule may form at the base of the affected finger on the palm side

Diagnostic Process

Diagnosing Dupuytren’s syndrome involves a thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider, which typically includes:

  • Medical History: Discussing your symptoms, family history, and any related medical conditions with your doctor.
  • Physical Examination: Assessing the hand for nodules, cords, and the degree of finger contracture. The doctor may ask you to try placing your hand flat on a table, which can highlight the extent of the contracture.
  • Functional Tests: Evaluating the impact of the condition on hand function and daily activities.

Treatment Options

Conservative Care

In many cases, trigger finger can be managed with non-surgical treatments aimed at reducing inflammation and improving tendon movement:

  • Rest: Avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms and giving the finger time to heal.
  • Splinting: Wearing a splint to keep the affected finger in a straight position while you sleep.
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Steroid Injections: Injecting corticosteroids into the tendon sheath can reduce inflammation and allow the tendon to move freely.
  • Physical Therapy: Hand exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen the affected finger.

Surgical Treatment

When non-surgical treatments do not provide sufficient relief, or if the finger is severely stuck, trigger finger release surgery may be recommended. This minimally invasive procedure involves making a small incision in the palm to release the constricted tendon sheath, allowing the tendon to move smoothly. The goal of trigger finger release surgery is to restore normal finger movement and relieve pain, improving overall hand function.

At Excel Health, we prioritize minimally invasive techniques to ensure the best outcomes and quickest recovery times for our patients.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery from trigger finger release surgery typically involves a short period of rest, followed by a structured rehabilitation program. Post-surgery, the hand may be bandaged, and light exercises are usually recommended to prevent stiffness and maintain flexibility. Most patients can return to normal activities within a few weeks, but it is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for optimal recovery.

Managing Dupuytren’s Syndrome

Living with trigger finger requires a proactive approach to treatment and daily hand care. Avoiding repetitive gripping, using ergonomic tools, and performing regular hand exercises can help manage symptoms and prevent recurrence. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor your condition and adjust treatments as needed.

If you suspect you have trigger finger or are experiencing symptoms, contact Excel Health for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Our dedicated team is committed to providing the highest quality care to help you regain hand function and improve your quality of life.

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