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Trigger Finger

What Is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, known medically as “stenosing tenosynovitis,” is a common hand condition in which the affected finger, most often the thumb or ring finger, becomes stuck in a bent position. When stretched or flexed, the finger “catches” or “snaps” like a trigger being pulled and released, which can be both debilitating and painful.

At RPSC Hand Surgery Center, our extensively trained hand surgeons are familiar with the most effective trigger finger treatments available. If your finger is uncomfortably stuck or bent, a member of our team can meet with you to come up with a plan to ease your symptoms.  

What Causes Trigger Finger? 

While trigger finger can be caused by a number of factors, it is universally characterized by abnormal inflammation or a thickening of the finger’s tendons. The inflammation prohibits the A1 pulley, which is responsible for facilitating the bending process, from moving properly. As a result, patients can experience significant discomfort and everyday activities such as working, driving, or eating become more difficult.  

Moreover, the following factors are often associated with the development of trigger finger:

Additionally, trigger finger occurs most frequently in women and patients between the ages of 40 and 60.

What Are My Trigger Finger Treatment Options? 

Your ideal trigger finger treatment will depend on the severity of your condition. A member of our surgical team can help you determine the best course of action after a thorough evaluation.


Less advanced cases of trigger finger may be eased with a temporary splint. When the splint is worn at night, this method can be especially helpful for patients who experience extra discomfort in the morning. 


Moderate to severe cases of trigger finger may warrant slightly more intensive techniques, such as injections. The use of liquid corticosteroids, which can reduce swelling in the tendons, is the gold standard non-surgical treatment for moderate trigger finger. 


The most severe symptoms of trigger finger can be mitigated through specialized surgeries, especially tenolysis. Colloquially known as “trigger finger release,” this procedure was designed to free the A1 pulley from its compromised position and help it function normally again. It most often involves a single incision placed at the base of the finger to facilitate the passage of tendons through the sheath. The surgery is usually performed in an outpatient setting using general anesthesia. 

How Long Is the Recovery from Trigger Finger Surgery?

If our hand surgeons determine that trigger finger release is the best treatment for your needs, expect the healing process to last roughly a month. That said, you will need to strictly adhere to trigger finger surgery post-operative instructions to ensure a healthy – and timely – recovery. The aftercare period will involve frequent use of ice, diligent maintenance and changing of your wound dressings, and tendon gliding exercises to encourage proper hand movement. In most cases, you will be prescribed narcotic pain medications and directed to take anti-inflammatories as needed.

Your recovery will require at least one post-operative appointment at RPSC Hand Surgery Center. During this visit, our surgeons will inspect the healing site, remove sutures, and answer any questions you may have.

For more information about trigger finger, its causes, or potential treatment options, please schedule a consultation at RPSC Hand Surgery Center.