Dr Steve Carter


Trigger Finger

Do you have a finger or thumb that catches or locks on trying to open your hand? More than likely you have a trigger finger.

Trigger finger is a common condition in both males and females over 50. Common in the diabetic patient. What happens is that the tendon gets stuck or caught under a tight A1 pulley in the palm of the hand.

  • Patients present with a painful locking or catching of the finger or thumb.
  • There is a tenderness in the palm at the base of the finger.
  • Common in the ring finger and thumb, but all fingers can be affected.
  • Moring stiffness & pain common, until the hand warms up.

Treatment is aimed at relieving the locking.

  1. Splints are not useful for this condition.
  2. A cortisone injection in the pulley system is very useful to decrease the inflammation. Particularly useful for thumb triggering and can be curative in 50 % of thumb triggers.
  3. Surgical treatment involves a small 1cm incision and release of the A1 pulley. This is a curative procedure.

A trigger finger is a day case procedure usually under local anaesthetic. A small 1cm incision is used to release the trigger and a dressing is applied which we change at day 3 to a small elastoplast. We encourage immediate active movement.