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A trigger finger or thumb happens when trying to bend or straighten the finger or thumb. It locks or catches and does not move freely. In children, it is often first seen when the child is older than 1 year of age.
A trigger finger/thumb happens because the sheath (tunnel of tissue that the tendon moves through) isn’t wide enough or gets swollen. The tendon can’t glide smoothly and gets stuck. Over time, this may also cause a small bump to form at the base of the finger/thumb where it meets the palm of the hand. This usually isn’t painful.
This condition is diagnosed through a physical examination and by taking a medical history.
There is a small chance that the trigger finger/thumb will go away on its own, more so in infants under 1 year of age. It is okay to watch the finger/thumb to see if it will go away on its own.
If the trigger finger/thumb does not go away on its own, it can get stuck or locked, which can lead to a contracture (permanent shortening of the muscle or tendon).
Our Hand and Upper Extremity Program team at Children’s Colorado provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the care of your child. This means you have access to leading specialists from multiple departments who work together to treat your child.
Your child’s care team includes pediatric experts from orthopedic surgery, physical medicine, rehabilitation, occupational therapy and nursing.
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation