What is a trigger finger?

Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a painful condition affecting the tendons in the hands and fingers.


Tendons attach your muscles to the bones in your fingers and allow them to move. When your tendons become inflamed, you may feel catching sensations in your fingers, or they may lock in a bent position.

As the tendons in your hands and fingers swell within the tendon sheath, the thickened areas catch and stop the movement. This swelling also causes pain at the base of the fingers or thumbs.

Trigger finger, which usually occurs after age 40, is more prevalent in women than men. It often occurs after movements that strain or stress the hands. The onset of trigger finger also may occur if a person has diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

You may be suffering from trigger finger if:

  • Your hand swells
  • You feel a lump in your palm
  • You feel painful clicking or snapping if you extend or flex your thumbs or fingers
  • Your fingers lock in a flexed or extended position, especially in the morning

If your hand pain interferes with your daily activities, you should contact a sports medicine specialist. Call (920) 996-3700 today to talk to a sports medicine specialist about non-surgical treatment options for pain.

Affinity Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center

Madison Center at St. Elizabeth Hospital
1531 S. Madison St.
4th floor
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 996-3700

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1506 S. Oneida St
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 738-2000

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