February 2023

What should you know about trigger finger?

Trigger finger impacts many people and can hurt many people’s quality of life. Any condition that affects hand mobility can cause many other issues in people’s daily lives. This condition should be treated early so that it does not worsen. 


What is trigger finger?


Trigger finger is a condition that affects the hands. This condition makes it difficult to bend the finger or thumb that is affected. This occurs because one or more of the tendons in the hand is swollen or irritated. 

Some symptoms of trigger finger include pain in the finger or thumb that is affected. Stiffness or a clicking sensation may occur when the thumb or finger moves. Usually, this condition is the most painful in the morning. If the condition worsens, you will have pain in your hand all the time, even when it is still. It is also possible for a lump to form in your palm. More severe cases of trigger finger cause the affected finger to get stuck in a bent position. [1]

About 28 people out of 100,000 are affected by trigger finger. Trigger finger has a lifetime prevalence of 2.6% in the general population. This condition is most common in adults in their 50s and 60s. People with diabetes have an increased risk, as well as those with carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytryen's disease, and inflammatory arthritis. Children can also have trigger finger, but it is usually in the thumb. [2]


 trigger finger


How is trigger finger treated?


Trigger finger can be treated a few different ways. You and your doctor will decide which treatment plan is the best for your condition.

Nonsurgical treatment is one option, this option is preferred when the condition isn’t severe and the symptoms have not been occurring for a long time. A steroid injection is usually the first option for treatment. This injection is not invasive and can improve the pain associated with trigger finger. The injection is placed into the tendon to improve pain and mobility. Splints are another nonsurgical treatment that is used to reduce inflammation in the hand.


Surgical treatment is the next step if a splint and steroid injections stop working. Surgery is also considered when the trigger finger has limited movement and for infants who have trigger thumb. The most common surgery for trigger finger is the open release of the A1 pulley. There is another surgery method called the percutaneous release of the A1 pulley and this is more popular for trigger thumb. [3]

With any condition, planning treatment can be overwhelming and scary. Luckily there are many different treatment options for trigger finger. This condition can be treated without surgery if the symptoms are debilitating. If you do decide to go the surgical route, your doctor will ensure you are provided the best care possible. Medical travel provides treatment for trigger finger and other orthopedic treatments. This may be something to look into if you have symptoms of trigger finger. Medical Travel has a team of doctors who speak English and can diagnose and treat trigger finger.




[2] Merry SP, O'Grady JS, Boswell CL. Trigger Finger? Just Shoot! J Prim Care Community Health. 2020 Jan-Dec;11:2150132720943345. doi: 10.1177/2150132720943345. PMID: 32686570; PMCID: PMC7372603.
[3] Jeanmonod R, Harberger S, Waseem M. Trigger Finger. 2022 Aug 7. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 29083657.