Trigger Finger - a common cause of finger pain

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Your finger may bend or straighten with a snap just like the pull and release of a trigger. There may even be pain in the early stages of the disease.

Watch this video to see an example of trigger finger

Who is more likely to develop Trigger Finger?

People whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions are at higher risk of developing trigger finger.

The condition is also more common in women and in anyone with diabetes.

How does Trigger Finger happen?

Firstly, we need to know a bit of the anatomy of the hand and fingers. In the fingers, there are tendons, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. In particular, lets focus on the tendons for a while.

Tendons are fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. Each tendon is surrounded by a protective sheath. Trigger finger occurs when the affected finger's tendon sheath becomes irritated and inflamed. This interferes with the normal gliding motion of the tendon through the sheath.

Prolonged irritation of the tendon sheath can produce scarring, thickening and the formation of bumps (nodules) in the tendon that impede the tendon's motion even more. In severe cases, your finger may become locked in a bent position.