Trigger Finger

If you have a finger that is stuck in a bent position and jerks suddenly back into place, you suffer from trigger finger. In some cases, the finger may not be able to straighten out at all.  Trigger finger develops when the protective covering surrounding the tendon becomes inflamed, making it difficult for the tendon to slide back and forth smoothly when your finger moves. 

Trigger Finger Care

Every patient we see benefits from the experienced, individualized care we offer at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Our orthopedic hand surgeons all have fellowship training in hand surgery and specialize only in treating hand and upper extremity conditions.

We offer you a thorough diagnosis and will develop an effective, innovative solution, no matter how complicated your condition. If you need surgery, we offer the most advanced technology and techniques. We also help manage your healing process – which includes balancing your need to move your fingers for basic activities, while also keeping them stable so you can recover completely.

Trigger Finger Symptoms

Symptoms of trigger finger include:

  • Stiffness in your finger joints
  • Inability to bend or straighten finger
  • Feeling like the joints pop or crack
  • A swelling at the bottom of the problem finger

Trigger Finger Diagnosis

The orthopedic surgeons at Georgetown are experts at diagnosing trigger finger. Our initial exam generally includes:

  • Taking your medical history – This includes asking questions about how your fingers feel, whether you have other medical problems, and if you take any medications.
  • Physical exam – Your orthopedist will examine your hand and fingers carefully, and ask you to bend and straighten your fingers.

Trigger Finger Treatment

Treatment for trigger finger depends on how severe the problem is and how stiff your fingers are. The orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Georgetown will work together with you to determine what treatment options will be most effective for your condition. For less severe trigger finger options, we will likely recommend any combination of non-surgical options, including:

  • Resting the affected finger, either with or without a splint
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Getting injections of steroids or anti-inflammatory medications

For more severe trigger finger that does not respond to the treatments above, you may need surgery. Surgery opens up the protective layer around the affected tendon to give the tendon more room to move. This will help it slide your finger back and forth without stiffening.

The expert orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Georgetown will offer you the least invasive, most advanced, and most innovative surgical procedures for the treatment of trigger finger.

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hand and wrist specialist, call our scheduling line.

Phone: 202-295-0549

Hand and Wrist Specialist

Michael Kessler, MD
Michael Kessler, MD
Curtis M. Henn, MD
Curtis M. Henn, MD