Trigger Finger | Gleneagles Hospital

Trigger Finger

What is Trigger Finger?

When an individual experiences pain or stiffness when straightening or bending their finger, they are said to be suffering from Trigger Finger. The tendon lining which appears tunnel like, allows the tendons to glide and bring about motion. When the tendons swell, the lining impairs the smooth gliding motion of the tendons, causing pain or catching feeling when the patient tries to flex their finger. This may even cause it to become 'locked'.


The main causes of Trigger Finger are not always clear however can include conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout as well as Diabetes. Trauma to the palm or base of the finger can also cause Trigger Finger.

The symptoms of Trigger Finger can include:

- A nodule felt at the base of your finger or thumb

- Aching sensations at the base of your finger or thumb

- Tightness at the base of your finger or thumb

- Triggering or locking on opening or closing the fingers — When your finger begins to trigger or lock, you are likely to feel pain in the middle of your finger or thumb


If the symptoms presented are new, non-surgical methods are usually prescribed first and include:

- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medication

- Reducing the frequency of times that you grip things

- Steroid injections

- Wearing a splint

However, if symptoms persist, surgery may be suggested. The procedure is minor and can be done as day surgery under local anaesthesia. Surgery is almost always successful, and patients will regain normal use of your hand upon recovery.

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