Trigger Finger

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What is a trigger finger?

Trigger finger is a condition in which it is difficult to straighten a finger (or fingers) once bent. The medical term for trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis.

How does trigger finger occur?

Trigger finger results from inflammation or swelling of the fibrous sheath that encloses the tendons. A tendon is a band of strong fibrous tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The straightening mechanism hesitates for a few moments before the tendon suddenly overcomes the resistance. The finger then straightens with a sudden jerk or triggering motion.

What are the symptoms of a trigger finger?

Symptoms of a trigger finger include:

  • Snapping sensation (triggering) in the affected fingers
  • Inability to extend the finger smoothly or at all
  • Tenderness to touch over the tendon, usually at base of finger or palm
  • Soreness in the affected finger or fingers
How is trigger finger diagnosed?

Your doctor will review your symptoms with you and examine your hand and fingers. An x-ray will be ordered to evaluate the bones of your hand and fingers.

How is a trigger finger treated?

Your symptoms may be relieved with use of ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation of the tendon sheath.

Information obtained from The Sports Medicine Patient Advisor by Pierre Rouzier, MD