Trigger finger is a condition when the tendon swells bigger than its protective sheath and catches when the finger is bent. It’s a painful condition that can cause the bent finger to pop and even remain frozen in place until enough force is placed on it to straighten it again. Trigger finger can get worse over time if not treated. It can also affect the thumb, known as trigger thumb.
Mild cases of trigger finger can be treated with steroid injection to reduce the inflammation and restore proper movement in the finger. You can also use specific exercises and over-the-counter painkillers to relieve a trigger finger. In some cases, you may wear a splint to help mobilize the tendon and allow the swelling to go down.
In more severe cases, you may need surgery to release the tendon. Surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia and involves making a small cut in the sheath around the tendon to release it.
Recovery can vary depending on the severity and treatment. The more severe cases involving surgery usually need 4-6 weeks of recovery, though some swelling or stiffness can linger for several months. If the finger remains stiff, physical therapy may be necessary.