Trigger finger, or digital flexor stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition characterised by localised restriction of extension in a digit other than the thumb
Usually, flexion is normal but beyond a certain range of motion, the sufferer has difficulty extending the flexed finger. A snap is frequently felt as the obstruction is passed. There may be pain at the point of obstruction.
Clinically, a discrete nodule may be palpated along the line of the flexor tendon at the level of the A1, or more rarely, the A3 pulley. Alternatively, there may just be tenderness at this site.
The most commonly affected digits are the ring and middle fingers. The most commonly affected level is at the A1 pulley but occasionally it may occur at A3. The index finger is affected rarely. Similar pathological processes may occur in the flexor pollicis longus tendon - trigger thumb
There are congenital forms of finger and thumb triggering - see linked item
Initially, the treatment of trigger finger may be medical, but frequently surgery provides definitive relief.
Last reviewed 01/2018