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Trigger finger

Trigger finger (also known as stenosing flexor tenosynovitis) is the term for a finger that cannot easily be extended from a flexed position. Severity ranges from a stiff finger or jerky finger movement to a finger that cannot even be extended when outside force is applied.

Inflammation of the flexor tendon sheath is responsible for a trigger finger, leading to swelling and thus limited mobility. This inflammation can be caused by repetitive hand movements or trauma and there is also an increased risk in some systemic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and gout. The exact triggering factor is, however, often unclear.

A mild version of the trigger finger can be treated conservatively with immobilization, anti-inflammatory drugs or a local cortisone injection. If surgical therapy is needed the tendon's entry point is cut open under local anesthesia, which usually leads to a remission of symptoms within a short period of time.


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Schulthess Klinik (German)

American Society for Surgery of the Hand

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