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Trigger Finger – Symptoms

February 24, 2021
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There are many different manifestations of trigger finger symptoms. Most commonly is clicking or catching of the finger. Less frequently, the finger will be in a fixed flex position like this often requiring the hand to straighten it. The symptom that typically brings people to my clinic though, is pain. The pain is most commonly located in the palm over the MCP joint, or the metacarpal phalangeal joint. I also often see patients with pain in the first joint of their finger or the PIP joint, which is known as the proximal interphalangeal joint. When I'm evaluating a patient, I feel for pain in the palm, as well as for the catching or locking. I also try to feel for a nodule on the tendon. This nodule can almost always be felt in patients with trigger fingers. Not all patients, though, present exactly the same, so it's important to have a professional evaluate your hand for any symptoms you develop. Additionally, many patients may have evidence of trigger finger on my exam, but are not symptomatic for it. As with all things in hand surgery, if I can't improve the function, pain, or appearance of your hand, then we don't treat it. The same would be true here. Just because I find a nodule in your hand does not mean it needs to be treated, if there's asymptomatic. However, if you do have symptomatic fingers, this would be a time to be seen by a doctor to determine if it needs to be treated.

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