Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is one of the most common causes of hand pain typically over the distal crease of the palm. Primary trigger finger is seen more commonly in middle aged females and secondary trigger finger is associated with diabetes, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and amyloidosis. Trigger fingers may occur in any finger but is most common in the thumb and ring finger. Patients often have multiple fingers affected, either on the same or other hand.

The pathology is a narrowing of the tunnel through which the tendon glides, causing friction and scarring of both the tendon and the pulley overlying it.

Patients may present at differing stages of the disease, from pain in the palm without a palpable nodule or demonstrable “triggering” of the finger as it is flexed and extended, to a locked flexed finger as the tendon can no longer pass through the pulley.

  • Management


First line treatment in all patients with early disease is a steroid injection given into the tendon sheath. This works around 70% of the time, relieving the triggering and pain.

Operative management

If non-operative management fails to provide adequate relief, surgical release is performed.  A small cut is made in the distal crease of the palm and the pulley is divided.  The tendon is inspected for any inflammation and wear and cleaned if required.

Conditions Managed

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