Signs and symptoms of trigger finger may progress from mild to severe and include:
- Finger stiffness, particularly in the morning
- A popping or clicking sensation as you move your finger
- Tenderness or a bump (nodule) at the base of the affected finger
- Finger catching or locking in a bent position, which suddenly pops straight
- Finger locked in a bent position, which you are unable to straighten
Trigger finger more commonly occurs in your dominant hand, and most often affects your thumb or your middle or ring finger. More than one finger may be affected at a time, and both hands might be involved. Triggering is usually more pronounced in the morning, while firmly grasping an object or when straightening your finger.
Trigger finger is not the same as Dupuytren's contracture — a condition that causes thickening and shortening of the connective tissue in the palm of the hand — though it may occur in conjunction with this disorder.
When to see a doctor
If you have any stiffness or catching in a finger joint, bring it to the attention of your doctor so that he or she may review your symptoms and perform a physical evaluation of your hand. If your finger joint is hot and inflamed, seek immediate medical care because these signs indicate a possible infection.
Oct. 25, 2011
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- Akhtar S, et al. Management and referral for trigger finger/thumb. British Medical Journal. 2005;331:30.
- Wright PE II. Carpal tunnel, ulnar tunnel, and stenosing tenosynovitis. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/159164477-5/0/1584/566.html?tocnode=55690331&fromURL=566.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-03329-9..50076-3--cesec16_4012. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Silver JK. Trigger finger. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/159164477-5/0/1678/36.html?tocnode=55147984&fromURL=36.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2011.
- Peters-Veluthamaningal C, et al. Corticosteroid injection for trigger finger in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009:CD005617. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.