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Triggered Finger: What Is It, Causes and Treatment

What is a triggered finger?


A triggered finger is easily characterized when your fingers are stuck in a bent position, with the inability to straighten easily. In addition, your fingers may be straightened with a snapping sound, just like when a trigger is pulled. 


The condition may affect any finger on your hands including the thumb. It can be a painful condition whenever you try to bend or straighten your affected fingers. While usually not a serious condition, it may have severe complications in the long term. If left ignored and untreated, the condition may eventually cause your affected fingers to be permanently bent, which would result in complications in carrying out your daily tasks. 


What Causes a Triggered Finger?


Known also as stenosing tenosynovitis, this condition is usually caused by inflammation of the tendon sheath in the affected finger. Tendons are fibrous connective tissue that connect muscles to bones. When the sheath is inflamed or irritated, the tendon is unable to glide smoothly which results in difficult or stiffness in bending the fingers. Over time, bumps may appear on the sheath due to prolonged irritation which further hinders the gliding motion of the tendons. 


Common causes of triggered finger:

  • Repetitive and prolonged hand grips, usually due to occupational activity
  • Post-surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Health conditions
  • Age, where it is more common among individuals above 40 years of age


Treatment for Triggered Finger


If you notice that you have prolonged stiffness with your fingers, you should definitely seek proper advice from a doctor. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may be given either invasive or non-invasive treatments.


For less severe conditions, your doctor may recommend common non-invasive treatments such as:

  • Proper rest and take time away from the activity causing the condition
  • A finger splint to keep your finger still
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Stretching exercises to improve flexibility and motion
  • Steroid injections


If your condition worsens, invasive procedures may be advised by your doctor. Surgical procedures such as a percutaneous release may be used to improve the flexibility of the tendon. The doctor may also opt to surgically cut open the tendon sheath to improve range of motion.


If you have any concerns, or suspect that you may have a triggered finger, do contact us right here at Sri Kota Medical Center Klang. We have a team of orthopedic doctors that are experienced in treating triggered fingers. Click here now to make an appointment with our doctors.