Health Resources

Trigger Digits

What Is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger or trigger thumb is a condition characterised by pain or discomfort experienced when trying to straighten or bend their finger or thumb. In some cases the finger may become locked or stuck due to swelling of the tendon lining. 

The tendon lining acts as a tunnel through which the tendon muscles glide to facilitate motion. Swelling of the tendon lining impairs the smooth gliding motion of the tendons, leading to pain or catching sensation when the patient attempts to flex the finger.

Flexor Tendon & Shealth

Watch this video to learn more about trigger finger.

What Causes It?

The causes of trigger finger has not been established, but may be the result of:

  • Engaging in activities that involve excessive repetitive grasping.
  • Maintaining a firm grip on hard surfaces for prolonged periods (e.g., when using screwdrivers or, moping of floor).
  • Connective tissue changes associated with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or diabetes.
  • Hormonal changes experienced during middle age or pregnancy.
Signs And Symptoms

If you are experiencing trigger finger you may initially notice aching sensations at the base of your finger or thumb. Additionally, a thickening may be observed in the affected area. As the condition progresses and your finger begins to trigger or lock, you are likely to experience pain the middle of your finger or thumb.


Doctors usually initiate try non-surgical treatment methods, which may involve wearing a splint or taking oral anti-inflammatory medication. In some cases, an injection of steroids may also be administered. 

If symptoms persist without improvement, surgery may be recommended. The procedure is minor and is performed as a day surgery case. 

The success rate of surgery is high, and patients usually regain normal use of their hand upon recovery. 

Occasionally, hand therapy may be recommended after surgery to restore normal hand function. 

Watch this 3D animation video to learn about what happens during a trigger finger release surgery.


Watch this video to learn about post-trigger finger release surgery care advice.

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