Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger

What is Trigger Finger?

The tendons that bend the fingers glide easily with the help of pulleys. These pulleys hold the tendons close to the bone. This is similar to how a line is held on a fishing rod. Trigger finger occurs when the pulley becomes too thick, so the tendon cannot glide easily through it. (See trigger finger illustration)

Symptoms

Pain and tenderness over base of the finger.  Patients may wakeup with finger stuck in flex position.

Treatment

Trigger fingers are first treated with steroid Injection.  Steroids starts to work in 4-6 days.  It may take up to one month to resolve after an injection. In Dr. Zhang’s practice, only 2 shots are given per finger in a lifetime due to the risk of tendon rupture if the same finger is injected too many times.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is warranted if steroid injection failed to resolve the problem.  Trigger finger release is a minor procedure done under local anesthesia with or without sedation. (See Trigger finger surgical release)