Trigger finger

Trigger finger can make the digit click, catch and become difficult to move. Tendons in the fingers or thumbs can become inflamed and swollen. The finger or thumb can get stuck in position, before suddenly popping free. As the condition progresses it can be difficult to fully bend or straighten the digit.

Trigger finger is uncomfortable and can restrict the function of your hand. The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers the very latest treatments for trigger finger. The world-leading orthopaedic specialists work with an expert multidisciplinary team to reduce pain and get your hand moving again.

The London Orthopaedic Clinic provides comprehensive care for trigger finger. Splints and steroid injections can provide relief and, for many people, the condition can settle spontaneously. If conservative measures have not helped, the expert orthopaedic surgeons at the London Orthopaedic Clinic can operate to release your trigger finger and support your healthy recovery and rehabilitation.

What is trigger finger?

Trigger finger is a condition in which the tendons of the fingers or thumb can’t slide smoothly through the sheath which contains them. It makes it difficult to bend or straighten the finger and the digit can get locked in position. Trigger finger is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis and usually affects the ring or little fingers and the thumb.

Tendons join bone to muscle. There is a complex network of tendons in the hand, allowing the fingers and thumbs to move. The tendons are protected by a fibrous sheath, which produces fluid to lubricate and facilitate free movement. When the tendons or sheath are swollen or inflamed, movement is restricted. The tendon can form a small nodule which can get stuck, making the finger catch, then click when straightened.

We don’t fully understand the cause of trigger finger but it’s more common in women, people over 40 and in people living with chronic conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms of trigger finger

Trigger finger causes pain, stiffness and makes bending the finger or thumb difficult. When the tendon gets caught in the sheath the finger can get stuck in position. It may suddenly release with an uncomfortable click.

There is a risk of the finger or thumb becoming permanently bent, which can make it difficult to perform daily activities. If your trigger finger is restricting your ability to write, work and get on with life, the London Orthopaedic Clinic can provide expert assessment, advice and treatment

How can the London Orthopaedic Clinic help with trigger finger?

The specialist orthopaedic surgeons at the London Orthopaedic Clinic will be able to fully assess your finger or thumb and the function of your hand. They will then customise a treatment programme to resolve your symptoms. This can include:

If conservative measures have not resolved the problem, the consultant orthopaedic surgeons at the London Orthopaedic Clinic can operate in the Clinic’s state-of-the-art theatres to release the trigger finger.

Open trigger finger release surgery: Under local anaesthetic, your consultant orthopaedic surgeon will make a small cut in the palm of the hand and precisely make an incision through the tendon sheath. This acts to increase the size and reduce the risk of the tendon getting stuck. The wound is then stitched closed, dressed and bandaged.

The surgery is quick, usually taking around 20 minutes and most people achieve complete resolution of their symptoms.

Following surgery your surgeon, together with the specialist physiotherapy team, will monitor your progress and support your finger’s healthy rehabilitation. Your surgeon will provide individual advice on when it is safe to return to normal activities. In general, if you have a desk-based job you may be able to return straight to work. However, people that do heavy manual work may need to be off for up to four weeks.


Why choose the London Orthopaedic Clinic?

The London Orthopaedic Clinic provides high-quality, expert orthopaedic and musculoskeletal care tailored to the individual needs of our patients. The Clinic is based at Mayo Clinic Healthcare, at the heart of London’s internationally renowned Harley Street medical district. London Orthopaedic Clinic offers cutting-edge diagnostics, treatment, management and personalised care, in a state-of-the-art clinic in central London.

The expert multi-disciplinary team of more than 20 leading specialists includes Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rheumatologists, Pain Management Consultants, allied specialists and Consultant Radiologists who work together to reduce pain, improve movement and make a real difference to patients’ lives.

The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers patients something truly unique: access to world-leading experts, high-tech diagnostics and the latest innovative treatments, together with the feeling of trust and safety of a small family practice.

Trigger finger treatment costs

Trigger finger treatment at the London Orthopaedic Clinic may be covered by your health insurance policy. Competitive packages are also available for patients who are self-paying. Contact a member of our friendly team on 020 7186 1000 or at to find out more.