In most cases of trigger finger or trigger thumb, surgery will not be necessary. Some cases will spontaneously resolve and the discomfort can be controlled with splinting. Sometimes a steroid injection will be required to settle things down and for those that are resistant to these simpler treatments, surgery is very effective.


Painful or uncomfortable trigger finger or thumb that persists despite simple measures.

Preoperative Instructions

Trigger release is usually performed as day surgery under local anaesthetic. You would not normally have to stop any regular medication prior to this minor procedure but Dr Stewart can advise you about your specific requirements.


Trigger release involves division of the tight part of the flexor sheath that is compressing the tendon, and where the clicking sensation is occurring. This part of the tendon sheath is not important for the function or strength of the finger. The procedure is usually done through a 1-2cm incision.

Postoperative Instructions

Usually the triggering is cone straight away. There are some padded dressings that usually stay for a week after the surgery and the stitches need to be removed after 2 weeks.


There is sometimes persistent pain int the hand scar for a few weeks after the surgery. Recurrent trigger digit is rare but can occur even years after the surgery.

Treatment Alternatives

Ongoing steroid injections and splinting are options for people not wanting to consider surgery.

Related Information

Trigger Finger