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Health Library

Trigger Finger

What Is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a condition that limits finger movement. When you straighten the finger it will lock or catch before popping out. It affects the tendons in your finger or thumb.

What Are Flexor Tendons?

Flexor tendons are the tendons that control the movements of the fingers and thumb, allowing you to grip and make a fist. The flexor tendons slide through a snug tunnel called the tendon sheath. The tendon sheath keeps the tendon in place next to the bones.

Common Causes

While the cause of trigger finger is usually unknown, risk factors include medical problems such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, or engaging in activities that may strain the hand.


History and physical examination of the patient’s hand by a qualified musculoskeletal expert is the first step. X-rays are usually not needed to diagnose this condition.


Non-surgical treatment options can be recommended to relive pain. These could include anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections. Simply resting the finger or placing it in a neutral position in a splint may be recommended. Surgery can be an option when non-surgical treatment options have failed.

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