Woman gingerly touching finger

Trigger Finger

Does your finger pop or click when it moves? Are you unable to straighten or move your finger at all?

Trigger finger can cause pain and stiffness that affects your dexterity and ability to do daily tasks at home or work.

Our board-certified doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin tailor trigger finger treatment to your needs to safely restore mobility.

Expert Care is Close By 3 Locations Around Austin, TX

What Is Trigger Finger?

Stenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger, is a painful condition that causes a finger or thumb to catch or get stuck in a bent position. It occurs when a tendon in your finger becomes inflamed and cannot glide through the sheath that keeps it in place. A nodule may also form, further restricting the tendon's ability to travel through the sheath. Trigger finger generally affects just one finger or thumb at a time.

Diagram of trigger finger
When straightening your finger (left), inflamed tendons get caught in the sheath. The finger may either be trapped in the bent position or it may release with a snap. When bending your finger (right), the inflamed tendon may once again be snagged by the sheath. 

Why Is Stenosing Tenosynovitis Known as Trigger Finger


The name comes from the trigger-like motion the condition causes. Often when someone is suffering from stenosing tenosynovitis, their finger or thumb may bend or straighten with a snap, much like a trigger being pulled and released.

What Are the Causes  Of Trigger Finger?

Repetitive Movements

Repetitive hand movements such as texting, playing an instrument, or writing put you at a higher risk of developing trigger finger. Repeatedly gripping things like power tools can also cause inflammation that leads to trigger finger.

Underlying Health Issues

Certain inflammatory health issues like diabetes, osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis can put you at a higher risk of developing trigger finger. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in your joints and can create the nodules that lock your finger in place.


Trigger finger is more common among people with jobs that require repetitive finger and thumb movements. This can include industrial workers, farmers, and construction workers. Devoted hobbyists may also find themselves dealing with trigger finger.

Age and Gender

In general, women, especially those over 40, develop trigger finger more often than men. If you've had a previous hand injury you may be more likely to develop trigger finger.

Contact Board-Certified Experts To Treat Your Trigger Finger

All of our orthopedic doctors are board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists. Our hand, wrist, and elbow specialist is exceptionally qualified to treat cases of trigger finger. Unlike an orthopedic generalist who may see only a few cases of trigger finger a year, our orthopedist sees multiple cases each week.

He can diagnose the severity of your problem and tailor treatment to your needs, starting with the most conservative and effective treatments that will restore movement to your finger and let you return to your daily activities. 

Whether you are dealing with early symptoms or your finger has locked up completely, request a consultation with our specialist. With offices in Austin, and Cedar Park, Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin makes treatment by highly trained specialists convenient.

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Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin doctors
The doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin are board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists. Each one specializes in a specific aspect of orthopedics, which allows them to attain a high level of mastery.

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Non-Surgical Treatments  For Trigger Finger

Your board-certified orthopedic specialist at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin will evaluate your symptoms and medical history to develop a treatment plan that is best suited for you. Our specialists always start as conservatively as possible before moving on to more invasive or surgical methods.


Over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication can help you perform your daily activities with reduced pain and inflammation. This is especially true for those who are also suffering from arthritis. 



A splint is a great way to keep the finger or thumb from locking in a bent position. Keeping your finger straight alleviates the tension in the tendon and allows it to rest and heal.

Person playing piano

Avoid Certain Activities

If your trigger finger is caused by repetitive movements, we might recommend taking a break from those activities. This will allow your tendon time to rest and heal.

Physical therapy

Physical Therapy

Depending on the severity of your trigger finger, we may recommend seeing a physical therapist. A therapist can walk you through stretches and exercises to reduce tension and alleviate inflammation, which can help improve mobility. 


Steroid Injections

If rest, therapy, and medications don't alleviate your symptoms, we may recommend steroid injections as the next course of action. Steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and are effective in most non-diabetic patients. 

Trigger Finger Release Surgery What to Expect

If you have a severe case of trigger finger or if conservative treatment methods do not restore mobility to your finger, we may recommend surgery. Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin offers both conventional and endoscopic surgical methods. Endoscopic surgery is less invasive, but may not work in all cases. During a consultation, your doctor will determine if surgery is necessary and which procedure will prove most effective.
This is a quick procedure that lasts only around 20 minutes.
This is a quick procedure that lasts only around 20 minutes.


Typically for this type of surgery, only local anesthesia is needed to numb your hand. You will be awake but should be pain-free throughout the procedure.


A small incision will be made at the base of your finger so your doctor can view the tendon sheath and the inflamed tendons.

The Release

Your doctor will make a small incision in the tendon sheath through which the tendons pass. This will let the tendon  slide more easily. 


Your doctor will verify that the inflamed tendon and nodule can pass through the sheath smoothly before they suture your incisions.

Do You Have Questions? 


Mild tenderness or stiffness in your hand is normal for the first few months following surgery. However, daily activities can most likely be resumed within the first few weeks. It is important to follow your doctor's care instructions to ensure the safest and quickest recovery possible. If your work requires strenuous labor, you may need to take off work for a few weeks.

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Very polite, efficient office.  Surgery went very well.  Great doctors!!

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Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin

At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, we have a team of board-certified specialists who can treat a wide range of conditions. Our specialists use the most advanced techniques to provide minimally invasive treatment options.

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (512) 476-2830 today.

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