Trigger Finger Disorder

What Is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the tendons of the fingers and thumbs. It occurs when the tissue around these tendons becomes swollen and irritated. As a result, movement of the finger or thumb can become difficult and may cause a snapping or locking sensation.

Trigger finger can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, but it can often be successfully treated. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Signs & Symptoms

The main symptom of trigger finger is a locking sensation in one or more of your fingers or thumbs. This happens when the tendon swells and can’t move freely within its tunnel or sheath. If the tendon gets stuck, it can cause a painful clicking sensation when you try to bend or straighten the affected finger.

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain when moving the affected finger
  • Tenderness or swelling at the base of the affected finger
  • A popping or clicking sensation
  • Stiffness in the finger
  • Sticking or catching of the finger joints
  • Bending of the finger without muscular control


Trigger finger is caused by swelling in the tendons and tendon sheath of the finger or thumb. This makes it difficult for the tendon to move freely. As a result, the finger or thumb may lock in one position or give a snapping sensation when moved.

Most cases are caused by using the affected hand too much. Other factors that can increase your risk of developing trigger finger include:

  • Age: It is more common in people over 40.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop trigger finger.
  • Injury: Injuries such as cuts, sprains, or fractures can increase the risk.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can increase the risk of developing trigger finger.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This autoimmune disease can make you more likely to develop trigger finger.
  • Previous surgeries: If you’ve had surgery on your hands or fingers, you may be more likely to develop trigger finger.


Treatment for trigger finger will depend on the severity of the condition, as well as any underlying health conditions you may have. Options include:

  • Resting the affected hand and refraining from repetitive hand movements.
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Using a splint to immobilize the affected hand and fingers and allow the tendon to rest.
  • Physical therapy to help stretch and strengthen the affected area.
  • Injections of corticosteroids into the affected area to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery to treat severe cases of trigger finger.