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Trigger Finger

  • What is Trigger Finger?

    Trigger finger is pain or stiffness when straightening or bending the finger. The tendon lining is like a tunnel in which the tendons glide to bring about motion. Swelling of the tendon lining lessens the gliding motion of the tendons, causing pain or a 'catching' feeling when you try to flex your finger and the finger may become locked (stuck in a bent position).

  • The causes of trigger finger are not always clear although they may include rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes. Injury to the palm or base of the finger may also cause trigger finger.

  • The symptoms of trigger finger include:

    • A nodule (swollen lump) at the base of the finger
    • Ache at the base of the finger
    • Tightness at the base of the finger
    • Triggering or locking when opening or closing the fingers – when the finger begins to trigger or lock (stuck in a bent position), there may be pain felt in the middle of the finger or thumb
  • Non-surgical treatments include:

    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
    • Lessen or avoid gripping things with the affected hand
    • Steroid injection
    • Wearing a splint

    If symptoms persist, trigger finger surgery may be recommended. The procedure is minor and can be done as a day surgery under local anaesthesia. Surgery is almost always successful and normal use of the hand can be regained upon recovery.

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