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Trigger Finger

The tendons of the fingers slide through the hand to the digits through a series of coverings known as pulleys. Trigger finger is a condition where the tendons are inflamed and catch with motion underneath these coverings.

Causes & Symptoms

Trigger finger may be caused by a variety of conditions but people with diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis as well as older patients and women are at greater risk.

Typical symptoms include pain, catching, and popping with straightening of the finger. Occasionally a painful lump in the palm may be noticed. Catching may be worse at the beginning of the day.

Evaluation & Treatment

Initial evaluation includes a medical history and physical examination. Typically x-rays are not needed for the diagnosis.

Typical treatment is nonsurgical and includes rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections.

In those who do not improve with the above treatment, outpatient surgical release of the covering may be indicated. Recovery is usually complete within a few weeks.