I often get asked the question, “Doctor, why does my finger click and catch”. The answer is most commonly a trigger finger. Trigger finger is a condition which affects the tendons to the fingers or thumb and limits finger movement. The tendons, which act like ropes, can get stuck or caught up in tight tunnels, referred to as pulleys, in the hand. When the finger locks or catches, this can be exceptionally painful! The finger, as it is extended, will usually shoot straight very quickly, hence the name “trigger finger”.
The cause of trigger finger is generally unknown but can be seen more often in diabetics and those with thyroid conditions. Symptoms include a tender bump in the palm, swelling and stiffness of the finger, a painful catching or popping sensation, and difficulty bending the finger. Stiffness and catching can often be worse in the morning and improve throughout the day.
The treatment for trigger finger is initially a steroid injection in most cases. This can be performed in the office and has a high success rate. If one injection does not work, a second is an option. However, if the finger continues to trigger, then a minor procedure can be performed to make more room for the tendon in the tunnel.
Trigger fingers are exceptionally painful and problematic. Treatment has a very high success rate. If you have any additional questions, please call 702-798-8585 to schedule an appointment with a board certified hand specialist.