Trigger Thumb (Children)

Trigger thumb refers to a thumb that clicks, catches, or locks as it is bent or straightened. At times, the thumb may become “locked” in a flexed position.


Most often, the child does not complain of any pain. The thumb may click or get stuck. The child may be unable to fully straighten the thumb. Often a palpable node or lump is felt at the base of the thumb.


Trigger thumb may resolve spontaneously but this is very unusual after one year of age. Surgery is usually recommended for children over the age of one year. This involves release of the A1 pulley.


A bulky dressing is applied. This is usually left intact for up to 2 weeks. No splints are required. The vast majority of patients make a quick recovery and complications are unusual. A resumption of triggering after surgery is very unusual.

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Hand Trigger Thumb