Dr Anne Collins Cosmetic Surgeon

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger
The flexor tendons are cord-like structures that bend your fingers. Each tendon passes through a tunnel called the tendon sheath, which allows it to glide as your finger bends. Along the sheath a series of pulleys or ligaments hold the tendons close to the bones.
Triggering occurs when a mechanical impingement, caused by either a thickening of the pulley or the tendon itself, inhibits smooth tendon gliding. This usually occurs at the A1 pulley at the base of the finger and results in pain, stiffness, clicking and/or locking when bending and straightening the finger.
trigger finger diagram

FAQs

In the early stages, non-surgical measures such as regular anti-inflammatory medications, wearing a splint and a steroid injection may suffice. If your symptoms are not relieved by such measures or your finger tends to lock in a bent position, then surgery may be indicated.

The surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic. It involves making a small incision in your palm and dividing the A1 pulley. This gives the tendon more space to move and glide smoothly.

Some discomfort is to be expected after the surgery and Dr Collins will ensure you have adequate pain relief to deal with this. Your grip will be temporarily weaker and you may not be able to drive for 1-2 weeks. It is not uncommon for you to experience pain, stiffness and swelling of the hand for up to 4 weeks. Your return to work will be determined by the type of job that you do. Patients in a supervisory or managerial role can usually return to work after 1-2 weeks. If your work is more physically demanding, you may require up to 4 weeks of leave.

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