What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger or Stenosing Tenosynovitis is a locking or catching sensation when attempting to flex or extend the finger. This is usually due to a volume mismatch in the size of the tendon and the tendon sheath, causing a disruption in the normal smooth gliding of the tendon. This is particularly notable on the balls of the fingers on the palm of the hand.

What causes Trigger Finger? 

Typically, it is associated with repetitive movement activities of the hand such as clerical work or forceful gripping in manual labour. When a tendon nodule forms, there is a noted clicking or locking of the finger on active motion. It is most often felt in the morning when waking up where it gradually decreases with use within the day. Risk factors include the female sex with a 2:1 ratio, increasing age and a 20% increase in incidence for people with diabetes. 

What are the Symptoms? 

This ailment mostly affects the ring finger and thumb but can affect other digits as well. It can present as pain or a palpable nodule on the balls of the fingers on the palm of the hand. The pain usually radiates up the finger when trying to move. It can also present as swelling of the fingers and limitation of movement. On later stages, it may present as stiffness on active motion with or without locking or clicking of the finger. 

How is it treated?

The treatment of tigger finger depends on the stage of the disease. It can be divided into Surgical and Non-Surgical.


Splinting: Theoretically lessens the swelling at the tendon sheath – tendon interface by lessening the movement the finger makes

Steroid Injection: Done at a clinic settling, this procedure lessens the inflammation by directly applying a corticosteroid in the affected area. This procedure is inexpensive and is usually our first line of treatment. 


This method of treatment is considered the gold standard and is almost always curative. It is an outpatient procedure and is often indicated when there is no improvement after conservative methods or in the later stages of trigger finger where it is irreducibly locked.

Asian hospital and Medical Center is equipped with a dedicated team of Hand Surgeon specialists that can discuss these various treatment methods from conservative splinting to steroid injection to surgical release. 

To know more please visit Asian Hospital and Medical Center’s Hand Surgery and schedule an appointment with our Hand Specialists.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on Asian Hospital. By continued use, you accept our use of such cookies.