Trigger Finger

Plymouth Orthopaedic and Sports Injury Clinic

What is it?

A finger that ‘triggers’ or clicks and may lock – usually in a bent position


The affected finger or thumb clicks on movement, or may temporarily lock in a bent or straight position, sometimes requiring use of the other hand to release it. Pain may occur over the top of the first knuckle in the finger, or in the palm.

What causes it?

Thickening (inflammation) of the tendon or tendon sheath restricts gliding of the tendon. When the tendon catches in its sheath, this is felt as a clicking.


Pain relief – anti-inflammatory medication or gel
Splint – may be required for 4-6 weeks to resolve symptoms
Steroid Injection – may cure problem with 1-3 injections into tendon sheath
Surgery – If other methods fail, surgery involves a small incision in the palm to release the tendon sheath. Minor daycase surgery under local anaesthetic.

Will it come back?

Recurrence is possible but rare after surgery.