Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

I fell last month while skiing. At the time, I didn't think I had hurt anything. But now I have a trigger finger that's painful and annoying. Could this be from the skiing accident?

Answer:

Trigger finger is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. It is a narrowing of the space in which the tendon slides and glides. The tendon sheath or lining around the tendon becomes swollen or forms scar tissue or a nodule for some reason.

When the tendon can't move smoothly inside the sheath, a trigger finger may develop. The finger gets stuck in a flexed or bent position. When it is straightened out, the finger pops back like a trigger on a gun.

Any finger can be affected. Usually the thumb, middle, or ring fingers are involved. In most cases, the etiology (cause) is unknown. This is referred to as idiopathic.

Sometimes a specific etiology can be identified. This could be a soft tissue or bone tumor, arthritis, bone spur, or scar tissue from a previous injury. Trauma as a cause is possible if damage to the tendon results in scarring or the formation of a fibrous nodule.

There is medical treatment available for trigger finger. Steroid injection, hand therapy, and sometimes, surgery can be helpful. See a hand surgeon or orthopedic surgeon if symptoms persist or cause decreased function. Hector Mejia, MD, et al. Trigger Finger Due to Tenosynovitis From Mycobacterium Kansasii Infection in an Immunocompetent Patient. In Orthopedics. December 2007. Vol. 30. No. 12. Pp. 1055-1056.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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