What is Trigger Finger? - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett



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Tel: 020 7730 8508

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Trigger Finger is a condition which can be very painful and can affect any of the digits of the hand. Your finger or thumb locks out of position and it can be very painful and a nuisance to live with. It is a common condition which may recover on its own but in some instances treatment or even surgery is necessary.

Symptoms of Trigger Finger

Common symptoms of trigger finger include:

  • An unfamiliar popping or catching sensation when the finger bends or straighten
  • Pain in the palm of the hand, around the base of the affected digit
  • Stiffness and difficulty moving the finger
  • Locking in a bent, unnatural position

Treatment for Trigger Finger

For many people trigger finger clears up in a matter of weeks. You may have to rest your hand and avoid using it where possible but often the condition is cured within a few weeks, although it can take up to six months.

If a few weeks pass without improvement it is worth condition further treatment which could include:


Your doctor may suggest splinting the affected finger, alongside some pain relief. The finger may be splinted for up to 6 weeks to help keep it straight at night and avoid the painful early morning stiffness. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help minimise the pain and swelling on a temporary basis too.

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are given directly into the inflamed area of the tendon. The steroid may be mixed the anaesthetic and it may provide relief within a few days, although it can take a few weeks in some cases. Steroid injections are less successful for people who have rheumatoid arthritis when treating trigger finger.


Surgery is a rare option for trigger finger. It is a choice to make when all other treatment options have failed. The surgery may be necessary if the finger is permanently locked and surgery is usually a permanent cure.

Making an Appointment with Dr Stephanie Barrett

If you believe you have trigger finger or want to discuss diagnosis please make an appointment with Dr Stephanie Barrett via telephone 020 7730 8508 or make an appointment here.