An artist's rendering of a left ring finger triggering. It shows the inflamed nodule under the first pulley.
Trigger finger is a common hand condition that often can be treated successfully with an injection or simple outpatient surgery.

Stenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger, is a common condition affecting the fingers. 

If severe, its tendency to get the fingers “stuck” may disable proper straightening. You may feel a nodule or “bump” in the palm of your hand because of this.

An artist's rendering of a left ring finger triggering. It shows the inflamed nodule under the first pulley.

It can happen because of repetitive use, such as in repeated turning of a screwdriver. Alternatively, it can just happen from wear and tear. This is the most common way to present.

It happens to the tendons on the palm side of the hand, which flex the fingers, as in making a fist.


Each finger has six pulleys which hold the tendons against the bone. The smooth synovial sheath encasing the tendons allows them to glide freely.

If there is inflammation for whatever reason in the tendon sheath, it can produce a nodule. This nodule may “get stuck” under the first pulley and cause a trigger finger.

Predisposing Factors

This entity is more common in people with diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and those requiring renal dialysis.

It usually affects a single finger. It can also affect multiple fingers and even both hands.

A left hand with the small and ring fingers flexed down to the palm of the hand
Trigger Fingers

Trigger Finger Treatment

If you notice your finger sticking after certain activities, or is worse by certain activities, stop it if you can. Anti-inflammatories should be started. Examples are; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen, or all natural anti-inflammatories, such as Nature’s TrifectaR.

Braces for Trigger Finger

Braces can be effective in letting the tendon rest. They are obtainable from most drug stores or on AmazonR.

A photograph of someone's left index finger in a splint from the side. The finger is fully extended. There are two inset photographs, one showing the brace from the front and one from the side.
Trigger Finger Brace

Cortisone Injection

A very effective treatment for this condition involves injecting a combination of local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory steroid into the flexor tendon sheath.

This photograph shows a right ring finger being injected with a white opaque fluid
Trigger Finger Injection

Too much activity immediately after the injection can cause pain. Therefore, you should take it easy for the first few days following the injection.


Surgery is necessary if all other treatments fail. The surgery involves releasing the first pulley (A1 pulley) under local anesthesia. To ensure the erasure of any triggering, the surgery should occur under local anesthesia. If not completely fixed, you have to release a little more.


Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a common and treatable hand condition.


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