Trigger Finger

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the tendons in the fingers or thumb, causing difficulty in bending or straightening the affected digit. It is called “trigger finger” because the finger may lock in a bent position and suddenly snap or “trigger” straight, similar to the action of pulling a trigger on a gun.

The tendons that enable finger movement pass through a protective tunnel called the sheath, which keeps them in place. In trigger finger, the sheath becomes inflamed or thickened, causing narrowing of the tunnel and making it difficult for the tendon to glide smoothly through it. As a result, the affected finger may catch or lock in a bent position, and straightening it can cause a snapping or popping sensation.

The exact cause of trigger finger is often unknown, but certain factors can increase the risk of developing the condition, including:

  1. Repetitive hand or finger movements, such as gripping or grasping.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
  3. Diabetes or other medical conditions that affect the hands and fingers.
  4. Injury or trauma to the hand or finger.


trigger finger

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger causes pain and difficulty with movement. It can cause your finger to get stuck in a bend position

hand pain

Hand Pain

Hand and finger pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including a trigger finger


Symptoms of trigger finger may include:

  1. Finger stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  2. Tenderness or a bump at the base of the affected finger.
  3. Pain or discomfort when bending or straightening the finger.
  4. The finger locking in a bent position and suddenly releasing with a snapping sensation.
  5. Decreased finger movement or difficulty in fully straightening or bending the finger.


Treatment options for trigger finger may include:

  1. Rest and activity modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate the symptoms can help reduce inflammation and allow the tendon sheath to heal.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  3. Splinting: Wearing a splint to immobilise the affected finger can provide rest and support to the tendon.
  4. Hand exercises: Gentle exercises under the guidance of a hand therapist can help improve finger mobility and reduce stiffness.
  5. Corticosteroid injections: Injecting a corticosteroid medication into the tendon sheath can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms in many cases.
  6. Surgery: If conservative measures fail to provide relief, or if the condition is severe and causing significant functional impairment, a trigger finger release may be considered. It involves cutting or releasing the affected portion of the tendon sheath to allow smoother tendon movement.

Get Expert Help

If you have hand stiffness or pain, it is important to get your hand and wrist evaluated and perform appropriate diagnostic tests. Dr. Arthur Turow will provide personalised recommendations and guide you through your treatment process.

Please use above information as a guide only. More detailed information specific to your condition and your recovery will be given in your consultation with Dr. Arthur Turow, who will also provide additional resources to supplement your discussion. For more information, please contact the rooms of Dr. Arthur Turow on (08) 8236 4179.