Trigger finger is a condition that limits finger movement by locking before popping out straight. Flexor tendons control the movements of the fingers and the thumb by extending from the muscles through the wrist and attaching to the small bones on your fingers. Sometimes, the flexor tendon becomes irritated causing it to thicken, which ultimately makes it difficult to pass through a tunnel called the tendon sheath. Once you have developed trigger finger, the tendons become stuck at the opening of the tendon sheath. The tendon then slips through as you straighten your finger, and you may feel a pop before it straightens out.
Usually the cause of trigger finger is unknown. A few factors that may put you at higher risk for developing trigger finger are:
- If you are a woman, as trigger finger is more prone to generate in women
- If you are between the ages of 40 and 60
- If you have certain medical problems, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
Diagnosing trigger finger is fairly easy and does not require X-rays or other testing; it is diagnosed with a simple hand examination. Trigger finger is not a life-threatening condition. Treatment of this condition can range from medication to outpatient surgery. Recovery after surgery is fairly quick. You may be able to move your finger immediately after surgery, and you are usually completely recovered within a few weeks.