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Trigger Finger

Updated on October 10, 2008

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger is an oftentimes painful condition in which your finger or thumb “locks” in a bent position. It’s generally caused by swelling within a tendon sheath.

Normally, tendons in your finger glide smoothly within their protective sheaths as you move your fingers. But if a sheath becomes inflamed from injury or overuse, the tendons may “catch”.

At first affected finger may seem stiff and click when you move it. You may feel a bump and tenderness in your palm at the base of the finger.

As the problem worsens, your finger may catch at times and then suddenly pop straight- like a trigger being released. Eventually, your finger may not fully straighten.

Initial treatment of a trigger finger may include rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. A more effective alternative at any time is an injection of a steroid medication (Cortisone) into the tendon sheath.

In severe situations, surgery may be required.

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