What is Trigger Finger?

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What is Trigger Finger? | Atlanta Hand Specialist | Roswell |WoodstockTrigger finger is a painful condition wherein a bent finger or thumb gets locked and then intermittently snaps back to a straight alignment. The motion is akin to pulling and releasing a trigger, which gives it the name “trigger finger.” The condition may require hand or cosmetic surgery in exceptional cases, while mostly it can be treated non-surgically.

Dr. Asaf Yalif is triple board certified in orthopedic surgery, hand surgery, and plastic surgery. Dr. Yalif is a highly trained and experienced surgeon providing treatments for conditions such as trigger finger. Patients in Atlanta, Roswell, Woodstock, and surrounding locations have an opportunity to receive treatments from Dr. Yalif.



People suffering from a trigger finger will commonly experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Irritation
  • A popping or clicking sensation when flexing or extending the digit
  • A digit locked in a bent or straight position

The cosmetic surgeon and hand surgeon will advise the appropriate treatment for trigger finger according to the severity of symptoms. Advanced cases may need surgical release of the trigger finger to widen the constricted part of the pulley that is preventing the tendon from sliding smoothly. Leading plastic surgeon Dr. Yalif receives patients from Atlanta, Roswell, Woodstock, and nearby areas for trigger finger.


Treatment Options


NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen may provide relief from the pain and discomfort. However, these are temporary solutions and may not provide relief from the swelling constricting the tendon sheath or trapping the tendon.


Non-invasive Therapy

  • The patient may be advised to take adequate rest and avoid activities that require repeated grasping or gripping or prolonged use of vibrating handheld machinery for about one month.
  • Icing the palm several times a day may provide relief to some people, while some others may benefit more from warm water soaks.
  • The surgeon may recommend wearing a splint at night to keep the affected finger in an extended position for up to six weeks. Splinting will help rest the tendon and prevent the curling of fingers into a fist while sleeping.
  • Gentle stretching exercises may be performed to support mobility in the finger.


Steroid Injections

In more severe cases, injections of steroid medications may be placed in the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation and enable the tendon to glide freely. The treatment is effective in up to 90 percent of non-diabetic patients. Diabetics may benefit from it only in about half the cases. Repeat injection may be needed in some cases.


Percutaneous Release

The surgeon will numb the palm and then insert a sturdy needle into the tissue around the affected tendon. The needle will be moved along with the finger will help disrupt the constriction that is blocking the tendon’s smooth motion. The procedure may sometimes be performed under ultrasound control.



In extreme cases, the surgeon will work through a small incision near the base of the affected finger. The constricted section of the tendon sheath will be corrected through the incision. The procedure is usually performed at a surgical room.


For more information about the plastic surgery procedures and treatments performed by Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Asaf Yalif please call us at 404.822.4402 or click here to schedule a consultation. Offices located in Atlanta, Roswell, and Woodstock, Georgia.

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