What is Trigger Finger? Hand Health
What is Trigger Finger?

Do you or someone you know have a finger or fingers that are stuck bent? This may be a condition called Trigger Finger. Trigger Finger is when your finger may stay in a bent position, or it can be straightened with a snap. This can occur due to inflammation around the tendon of the finger. Trigger Finger is most common among people whose work/hobbies require repetitive gripping action. You may be at an increased risk of developing Trigger Finger if you have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis; and it is also more common in women.

What are the symptoms of Trigger Finger?
Some of the common symptoms of Trigger Finger are finger stiffness, a clicking sound when bending/straightening your finger, finger locking in a bent position, tenderness, and sometimes a bump may occur on the palm of the affected hand. Trigger Finger can develop in any finger or among multiple fingers at a given time. If your finger is warm to the touch and swollen, it is important to consult a doctor immediately as these are signs of infection.

How is Trigger Finger diagnosed?
Your doctor will diagnose you based on your medical history and a physical exam. During your physical exam, your doctor will ask you to open/close your hand, assess you for pain, and look for any signs of locking/clicking noises. They may also assess your palm for a lump. If you have a lump on your palm it will move when you’re asked to open and close your hand.

What are the treatment options for Trigger Finger?
The course of action for treatment will depend on the severity of your trigger finger. Some non-invasive treatment options are resting the affected hand, stretching the hand if able, and the use of a splint to keep the finger in an extended position. Your physician may also recommend a steroid injection to decrease inflammation around the tendon. If these treatment options prove little relief, surgery will be discussed.

What does Trigger Finger surgery entail?
Surgery for Trigger Finger is done through a small incision near the base of the affected finger. The surgeon will go in and cut the tendon to release the finger. Typically, patients that have trigger finger surgery go home the same day.

Iowa Ortho has four board-certified hand surgeons, Dr. Michael Gainer, Dr. Ze-Hui Han, Dr. Benjamin Paulson, and Dr. Scott Shumway, ready to care for and correct your trigger finger. They will provide personalized care and help you return to your favorite activities as quickly and safely as possible!