Hand & Elbow Surgery

Trigger Finger


Trigger finger is a condition that arises when the thumb, or one of the other fingers, catches in a bent position. The finger or thumb may straighten while making a snapping noise similar to that of a trigger being pulled and released.


Trigger finger is generally caused by a narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the affected finger or thumb’s tendon. Trigger finger is more common in women and in those who have diabetes. Those with work or hobbies that require repetitive gripping actions are more likely to suffer from trigger finger. It also commonly occurs in your dominant hand and is most often your thumb or ring finger.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of trigger finger vary from mild to severe. They include stiffness in the affected thumb or finger, a popping or clicking sensation during movement of the finger or thumb, tenderness or a bump at the joint of the thumb or finger, finger or thumb catching or locking in a bent position that snaps straight suddenly, and the finger or thumb becoming locked in a bent position that will not straighten.


For those less severe cases of trigger finger, rest, splinting, finger exercises, avoidance of repetitive gripping, warm water soaking, and massage are effective approaches. For those more severe cases, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are effective in reducing pain and swelling. Steroid injections, percutaneous trigger finger release, or surgery may be necessary to treat the condition.