Trigger Finger

About Trigger Finger

Trigger finger (‘Stenosing Tenosynovitis’) presents as pain or clicking in the palm on the bending of the fingers due to catching and/or irritation of tendons in the palm. Swelling can develop in the tendon creating a nodule which causes more irritation and further swelling. Ultimately, the swelling may get stuck in the tunnel that the tendon passes through, causing locking of the finger.

Non-surgical treatment

Relief of trigger finger may be achieved with rest, anti-inflammatory tablets and sometimes a splint. A steroid injection can relieve symptoms and sometimes ‘cure’ the condition.

If symptoms persist or recur, then surgery is usually recommended.


Surgery is by an incision in the palm. The tunnel is visualised and divided, allowing the tendon to move freely. Occasionally, inflammatory tissue may need to be excised (called synovectomy).

This is usually performed in a hospital as a day surgery under local anaesthetic and sedation.


Does trigger finger usually occur in many fingers?

Usually trigger finger affects just one finger but it can affect many fingers and at different times.

Are there any non-surgical alternative treatments to trigger finger surgery?

Yes. We often suggest trying a combination of rest, anti-inflammatory tablets, a splint and/or a cortisone injection prior to recommending surgery.

Is trigger finger surgery urgent or can it wait?

No, it is usually a condition that can wait weeks to months for treatment.

How long will it be before I can use the hand after trigger finger surgery?

The finger can be moved immediately after surgery and the hand can be used as it feels comfortable to do so.

How long is my recovery post-surgery?

The finger can be moved immediately after surgery. The dressing is removed at the first appointment and usually recovery is complete within 2-3 weeks. No splints are required.

Medical terms

Tendon: The tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone

Stenosing Tenosynovitis: Trigger finger or thumb

Synovectomy: Removal of tissue

Steroid Injection: Injections usually comprised of cortisone medication and a local anaesthetic

Pulley: Is another term for the tunnel which the tendon passes through


Our Surgeons & Anaesthetists charge out-of-pocket fees for surgery done in the private hospital.

Because the length and complexity of the different surgical techniques are so vast, you will be given an estimate of costings after your consultation.

For more information on fees and rebates please visit the fee section on the FAQ page.

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Randwick Plastic Surgery