Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a painful catching or snapping of the finger or thumb, occurring as a result of inflammation of a tendon. A tendon is a cord of tissue that attaches a muscle to the bone of the finger. The inflammation may result from overuse or repetitive activity, from an injury to the finger or thumb, or from unknown causes. The swollen, inflamed area of the tendon no longer slides smoothly in the tendon sheath, and tends to catch painfully.

The classic symptoms of trigger finger are:
• Catching, snapping, or jumping of the finger or thumb with attempted movement
• Pain in the palm area, usually at the base of the finger or thumb
• Awakening in the morning with the finger "stuck" in a bent position

Treatment of trigger finger may consist of rest and oral anti-inflammatory medicine, or injection of cortisone into the tendon sheath.

Persistent cases of trigger finger or thumb can be treated with surgery to release the tight tendon sheath. This short procedure is done under local anesthesia as an outpatient, with a small bandage worn about 10 days.
Trigger Finger Diagram