What is trigger finger (TF)?

Updated: Apr 26, 2021
  • Author: Satishchandra Kale, MD, MBBS, MBA, MCh(Orth), FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Tr&Orth); Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
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Trigger finger (TF) is one of the most common upper limb problems to be encountered in orthopedic practice and is also one of the most common causes of hand pain and disability. It results from thickening of the flexor tendon within the distal aspect of the palm. [2, 3] This thickening causes abnormal gliding of the tendon within the tendon sheath. Specifically, the affected tendon is caught at the edge of the first anular (A1) pulley. (See Etiology and Pathophysiology.)

Patients can have difficulty flexing the affected digit if the tendon is caught distal to the A1 pulley, or extending the digit if the tendon is caught proximal to the pulley. The condition is very painful, especially when the locked digit snaps (releases) beyond the restriction by the use of increased force.

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