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Trigger Finger

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Trigger finger often starts off as a minor problem, but if your finger locks into a bent position, it can be surprisingly disabling. If you have trigger finger, Wisconsin River Orthopaedics can help. At the practice in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the board-certified orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists work together to offer you the most effective solutions to your condition. Find relief from trigger finger by calling or booking an appointment online today.

Trigger Finger Q & A

What is trigger finger?

Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, develops when a flexor tendon in your hand becomes inflamed and swells. 

The result is pain and stiffness in the finger that the tendon controls. A tender bump is also likely to appear at the base of the affected finger, near your palm. You could experience a catching or locking sensation when you move your trigger finger. 

Symptoms are usually mild at first, but the condition typically worsens. You may end up being unable to straighten your finger if it locks into position when bent.

Trigger finger can affect any digit but is most likely to occur in your ring finger. You can also get trigger thumb.

Why would I get trigger finger?

Trigger finger is more likely to develop if you have certain medical conditions, like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, or you've had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Using your hands in a certain way over the years can also aggravate the tendon and lead to the development of trigger finger.

Trigger finger can affect anyone but is more common in women.

How is trigger finger treated?

The hand specialists at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics work closely with you and the orthopaedic team to provide a continuum of care when treating your trigger finger.

Treatment usually begins with non-invasive approaches, such as:

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Splinting your trigger finger at night
  • Oral anti-inflammatory medications
  • Range-of-motion and strengthening exercises

While these methods are helpful in all cases, if your condition is more advanced you might need steroid injections into the tendon sheath as well. These injections reduce inflammation and enable your tendon to glide more freely within the sheath.

Steroid injections are often effective for a year or longer, and you might need more than one treatment.

Would I need surgery for trigger finger?

If non-invasive treatments don’t work, you can undergo a surgical procedure to cut the affected tendon. Surgery for trigger finger, called “tenolysis” or “trigger finger release," is performed to increase the space for your flexor tendon to move freely. Your flexor tendon helps allow your finger to bend and flex. After the procedure, the finger can bend and straighten without pain.

For expert help with trigger finger or thumb, call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics or book an appointment online today.