In this condition, a finger gets stuck in a bent position and may straighten suddenly with a snap. It happens most often in women over the age of 50.
Trigger finger makes a finger get stuck in a bent position. It may straighten suddenly with a snap. The fingers most often affected are the ring finger and the thumb, but the condition can affect any finger.
Trigger finger happens when the tendon that controls that finger can't glide smoothly in the sheath that surrounds it. This may occur if part of the tendon sheath becomes swollen or if a small lump forms on the tendon.
The condition is most common in women over the age of 50. You may be at higher risk of trigger finger if you have diabetes, low thyroid function or rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment of trigger finger can include splinting, steroid injections or surgery.
Symptoms of trigger finger may progress from mild to severe and include:
Trigger finger can affect any finger, including the thumb. More than one finger may be affected at a time, and both hands might be involved. Triggering is usually worse in the morning.
Tendons are tough cords that attach muscle to bone. Each tendon is surrounded by a protective sheath. Trigger finger occurs when the affected finger's tendon sheath becomes irritated and swollen. This makes it harder for the tendon to glide through the sheath.
In most people, there's no explanation for why this irritation and swelling begins.
The constant back-and-forth irritation can cause a small lump of tissue to form on the tendon. This lump is called a nodule. The nodule can make it even harder for the tendon to glide smoothly.
Trigger finger happens when the tendon that controls that finger can't glide smoothly in the sheath that surrounds it. This may occur if part of the tendon sheath becomes swollen or if a small lump forms. This lump is called a nodule.
Factors that put you at risk of developing trigger finger include:
Trigger finger can make it harder to type, button a shirt or insert a key into a lock. It also can affect your ability to grip a steering wheel or grasp tools.
During the exam, a health care provider may ask you to open and close your hand, checking for areas of pain, smoothness of motion and evidence of locking.
Trigger finger treatment varies depending on its severity and duration.
Consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). Some types of these medicines can be delivered by creams or patches through the skin right where the problem is happening.
Conservative noninvasive treatments may include:
If your symptoms are severe or if conservative treatments haven't helped, your health care provider might suggest:
You'll probably start by seeing your primary care doctor to determine what could be causing your symptoms.
Make sure to bring a list of all the medications and supplements you take regularly. You also might want to write down some questions in advance. Examples may include:
Your health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over important information a second time.
Questions your provider might ask include: