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What Is Trigger Finger?

Our fingers are able to flex because the muscles in our forearm contract (get shorter and then longer to help our muscles move). Your finger muscles are attached to tendons that run from your wrist area to your finger. A system of pulleys inside your arm holds your tendons against your bones. These same pulleys also prevent tendons from bowstringing—or separating away—from our bones when we flex our fingers.

Sometimes, tendons will swell inside one of these pulleys and the tendon will have difficulty moving through the pulley. This makes it hard to extend or flex your finger. This condition is called trigger finger. It can cause pain and discomfort.

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What Causes Trigger Finger?

As your tendon squeezes through the pulley and then squeezes back, it can harm your finger’s motion, causing your finger to click or snap at the PIP joint. The PIP joint is the closer of the two joints inside your finger.

The pulley that causes trigger finger is located in the outer part of your palm. Triggering directly affects your tendon that controls the PIP joint. Although doctors can see triggering happen at the PIP joint, the root cause of trigger finger is in the distal (outer) portion of your palm.

Trigger finger can affect anyone, but people who repeatedly make gripping motions with their fingers have a higher chance of developing the condition.

How Do You Treat Trigger Finger?

A steroid injection can soothe trigger finger. If steroid injections don’t permanently reduce pain and improve your finger’s movement, our surgical team will perform a simple surgery to release the pulley, allowing the tendon to glide normally.

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