trigger finger

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a common hand condition characterized by the locking or catching of a finger or thumb in a bent position. This condition occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the tendon sheath surrounding the affected finger, causing the tendon to catch and release with a “triggering” sensation. Trigger finger can cause discomfort, stiffness, and reduced range of motion, ultimately impacting your daily life and activities.

At the North Florida Hand & Wrist Center, Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez lead a team of extensively trained hand and wrist surgeons who focus on providing patients with top-notch care for various hand and wrist-related conditions, including the trigger finger. By leveraging state-of-the-art surgical techniques and equipment, our dedicated practitioners ensure that patients receive personalized and effective treatment plans, enabling them to regain their hand and wrist function.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the underlying causes of the trigger finger, discuss its signs and symptoms, and outline the various treatment options available at our facility. We will also delve into certain risk factors that contribute to the development of this condition and offer practical advice for prevention and self-care. Our goal is to equip you with knowledge and resources that empower you to make informed decisions concerning your hand and wrist health.

By the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of the trigger finger, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options, enabling you to take proactive steps to manage and address this hand ailment. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from a trigger finger, we encourage you to reach out to our expert team at North Florida Hand & Wrist Center to discuss your concerns and schedule an evaluation.

Understanding the Causes of Trigger Finger

While the exact cause of the trigger finger remains unclear, it is commonly associated with various factors that contribute to inflammation of the tendon sheath or thickening of the tendon. Some of these factors include:

  1. Repetitive Finger Use: Frequent and prolonged gripping of objects, such as tools or musical instruments, can irritate the tendon and lead to inflammation.
  2. Medical Conditions: Certain health-related issues, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and gout, may predispose an individual to develop a trigger finger.
  3. Structural Abnormalities: In some cases, individuals may have naturally narrow tendon sheaths or enlarged tendons, increasing the likelihood of trigger finger development.

Identifying these potential factors can help in the prevention and management of trigger finger, enabling a more proactive approach to maintaining hand and wrist health.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger can present itself in various ways, ranging from mild discomfort to significant pain and limited finger mobility. Common signs and symptoms of this condition include:

  1. Finger Stiffness: You may feel stiffness, particularly in the morning, in the affected finger or thumb.
  2. Popping or clicking sensation: When attempting to straighten the finger, you might experience a popping or clicking sensation as the tendon catches and releases.
  3. Finger Locking: In severe cases, the affected finger may become stuck in a bent position and require manual intervention to straighten it.
  4. Pain and Inflammation: Individuals with trigger fingers may experience pain and inflammation at the base of the affected finger.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult with a hand and wrist specialist, such as the expert team at North Florida Hand & Wrist Center, for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Exploring Treatment Options for Trigger Finger

Treatment for the trigger finger largely depends on the severity of your symptoms. Initially, non-surgical treatment options may be recommended by your doctor, which can include:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Reducing the frequency of activities that exacerbate symptoms can help relieve inflammation and alleviate discomfort.
  2. Splinting: Wearing a finger splint at night can help keep your finger in an extended position, facilitating healing and reducing tendon irritation.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help manage pain and inflammation associated with the trigger finger.
  4. Corticosteroid Injections: In some cases, a corticosteroid injection into the tendon sheath can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

If non-surgical treatments prove unsuccessful or your symptoms worsen, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention. Trigger finger release surgery involves making a small incision in the palm to release the constricted tendon sheath, allowing the affected finger to move more freely. The skilled hand surgeons at North Florida Hand & Wrist Center specialize in this procedure, ensuring optimal outcomes for their patients.

Preventing Trigger Finger: Effective Self-Care Strategies

While not all cases of trigger finger are preventable, employing certain self-care strategies may help reduce the likelihood of developing this condition. Some preventive measures to consider include:

  1. Proper Ergonomics: Ensure that your work and leisure environments incorporate ergonomic principles, reducing the strain on your hands and wrists during repetitive activities.
  2. Frequent Breaks: If you engage in activities that require prolonged use of your fingers, take regular breaks to stretch and relax your hands.
  3. Finger Exercises: Performing finger and hand exercises can help maintain proper finger mobility, strength, and flexibility.
  4. Manage Underlying Health Conditions: If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of developing a trigger finger, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, work with your healthcare provider to manage these conditions effectively.


Trigger finger is a prevalent hand condition that can significantly impact your daily life and overall hand functionality. By understanding its causes, recognizing its symptoms, and exploring treatment options, you can take the necessary steps to manage and address this ailment proactively. At North Florida Hand & Wrist Center, our expert surgeons and dedicated staff strive to provide the highest quality treatment for trigger finger and other hand and wrist-related conditions. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms suggestive of a trigger finger, do not hesitate to reach out to our team for a thorough evaluation and individualized treatment plan.