Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a common problem which causes locking and clicking of the finger. There is tenderness in the palm and movement of the finger, especially straightening, can be quite painful. Some people have to use their other hand to straighten a trigger finger when it locks. A trigger finger is caused by thickening or swelling of the lining of the flexor tendon. This pinches the tendon and prevents normal smooth gliding. When the tendon is too swollen to fit back into its tunnel, the tendon gets stuck and locks or clicks.

Initial treatment consists of rest, modification of activity, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication and a cortisone injection. If this fails, a surgical release of the trigger finger is successful at alleviating the problem. At surgery, the entrance to the flexor tunnel is opened allowing the tendon to glide back and forth freely. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and usually takes less than 15 minutes. This is done as same day surgery with a small soft dressing applied to the hand. The finger can be moved immediately.

At Central Jersey Hand Surgery, we are now performing a new, less invasive technique of trigger release. Surgery is performed percutaneously through a small incision, using a specially designed knife. This knife was invented by Michael Dunn, M.D. (Monmouth Medical Center) and Gary M. Pess, M.D. (Central Jersey Hand Surgery.) Over 5,000 trigger fingers have been safely released using the Percutaneous Trigger Release Knife in a procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. This new technique was featured on the Philadelphia Action News 6 Healthcheck, June 3, 2002.

Check out a great article on our minimally invasive surgical techniques published on the net in Orthopedic Technology Review

Click here for the article.

For an appointment, call (732) 542-4477

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2 Industrial Way West, 2nd Floor
Eatontown, NJ 07724-2265
(732) 542-4477


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Freehold, NJ 07728-5301
(732) 462-7700


780 Route 37 West, Suite 140
Toms River, NJ 08755-6431
(732) 286-9000