Trigger Finger: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/8/2020

Trigger finger is medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis. It refers to a "snapping" or "locking" of any of the fingers when opening or closing.

Signs and symptoms of trigger finger can include a

  • "snapping" sensation in the fingers when moving the joints,
  • stiffness,
  • tenderness, and
  • nodularity of the affected tendon in the palm of the hand.

Typically, the nodule on the tendon is not visible but can be felt in the palm. There can be physical deformity due to contracture of the affected finger into a bent position.

Cause of trigger finger

Trigger finger usually develops as a result of repetitive trauma. Swelling from inflammation or scarring of the tendon sheath (tenosynovium) around the flexor tendons of the finger causes trigger finger.

Other trigger finger symptoms and signs

  • Nodularity of the Affected Tendon in the Palm of the Hand
  • Snapping Sensation in the Fingers When Moving the Joints
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.