painful trigger finger

Trigger Finger (or Thumb)

Trigger finger happens when a finger "pops" or "clicks" back and forth with movement. When bent, the finger can become stuck in place.

Also called stenosing tenosynovitis, it can be treated non-surgically or surgically at the Hand and Shoulder Center in Fort Worth, TX.

If you have trigger finger symptoms, our team of board-certified hand surgeons can restore movement to your finger.

What Exactly Is Trigger Finger?

  • This potentially painful condition occurs when a tendon in your finger becomes swollen or develops a nodule. The ring finger and thumb are most commonly affected.
  • This causes the tendon to become too thick to pass smoothly through a natural tunnel (or sheath) of tissue. It often catches at the A-1 pulley.
  • The tendon "catches" at the entrance to the pulley, limiting movement or locking your finger in a bent position.
  • The condition is called trigger finger because your affected finger may bend or straighten with a trigger-like motion.

An Internal View of Trigger Finger

An internal view of trigger finger.
The tendon becomes inflamed and swollen (forming a nodule) and catches at the entrance of the tendon sheath (the A-1 pulley).

Trouble Bending or Straightening a Finger? Contact the Hand to Shoulder Center Today

If one of your fingers consistently makes snapping movements or it gets locked in a bent position, contact our state-of-the-art Fort Worth, TX, practice. Our team of skilled fellowship-trained hand specialists can use cutting-edge technology to diagnose your condition and recommend the proper treatment.

Restore pain-free, smooth movement to your fingers by scheduling your consultation today. Simply fill out our online form or give us a call.

The Hand and Shoulder Center Surgical Team
The Hand and Shoulder Center Surgical Team

5-Stars for Our Fort Worth Practice


Erin Barrett


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This office is state-of-the-art! I went in for an appointment and was pleasantly surprised how friendly the office staff was. After my appointment with a very knowledgeable physician I learned I would need a simple surgery done to expedite my healing process. This surgery was quick and easy, and the fact that it was done in the same office building made me feel very comfortable and at ease.

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Bill Phillips


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Dr. Tobias is one of the most impressive knowledgeable Doctor I have ever been acquainted with. He has been my Hand Surgeon since 2013, I would highly recommend him to anyone that has issues with there hands. Thank you for all have done and taught me through these years. I am deeply in your debt for all you have done for me.

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Symptoms of Trigger Finger

The following symptoms may mean you have developed stenosing tenosynovitis in one of your fingers:

  • Finger stiffness
  • Locked finger
  • Popping or clicking feeling in the finger joint
  • Wrist pain (in rare cases)
  • Painful bump at the base of the afflicted digit
  • Numbness
  • Hot, inflamed joint pain

Affordable Financing

If out-of-pocket costs related to your trigger finger treatment arise, our practice accepts payment through CareCredit®. This trusted third-party lender breaks down fees into convenient, low-interest monthly payments so you can get the treatment you need to improve your quality of life. 

Why Choose Our Practice for Treatment?

On-Site Surgery

Our esteemed practice is the only one in the Fort Worth area where surgical procedures related to the fingers and wrist can be performed in-office. This saves you from going to expensive hospitals and surgical centers.

Save Money

Surgery performed at our Fort Worth practice can save you thousands of dollars. For example, our fee for trigger finger release surgery could save you over $5,000 from a hospital.

Easier Pre-Surgical Prep

In-office surgery doesn't require general anesthesia,  you can drive yourself to and from your appointment, and you don't need to skip eating or medications before the procedure.

Board-Certified Surgeons

Our group of Board Certified Hand Surgeons have additional specialized training and education in treating finger, hand, wrist, and elbow conditions that other surgeons have not received. Our surgeons are at the top of their profession.

In-House Physical Therapy

Need PT after hand, wrist, or trigger finger surgery? You can have it right here in our comfortable office instead of at a crowded, noisy corporate center.

High Praise for Our Doctors


james wilmot


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Outstanding!!! Nathan (the Dr.) introduced himself as Nathan and was very professional. Absolutely the best when it comes to medical professionals. Thank you for the great medical visit experience-From the front office to the new cashier you guys are awesome!!!!

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Rebecca Kaminski


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Excellent care & professional medical service, my husband saved hundreds of dollars on surgical costs & anesthesia versus an outpatient surgical center! The location made it that much more convenient for us! Staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

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Trigger Finger Causes

Sometimes the cause of this condition is unknown, but most trigger finger causes involve irritation to the finger's tendon or the pulley (sheathe) that the tendon passes through. The following factors can increase your risk of experiencing trigger finger:

  • Repetitive Hand Movements
  • Constantly repeated gripping or hand movements involving your job, hobby, or favorite sport
  • Health Issues
  • Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes; rheumatoid arthritis can cause the nodules that lock your fingers in place
  • Gender
  • Women are more prone to develop trigger finger than men
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger finger can occur after surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, especially during the healing process

Trigger Finger Treatment

Trigger finger occurs when two tendons in a finger are obstructed due to the surrounding membrane becoming inflamed. Dr. Brian Tobias says nonsurgical trigger finger treatments like anti-inflammatory meds are explored first. He can provide surgery if oral medication is ineffective.

The Trigger Finger Surgery Timeline

Trigger finger surgery illustration

Anesthesia Options

Trigger finger surgery at our Fort Worth, TX, surgical practice can be done with or without sedation, as a local anesthetic is also offered. This eliminates the grogginess associated with general anesthesia you might receive at a hospital.

Trigger finger surgery illustration


A small incision will be made near the base of your affected finger so your surgeon can access the constricted A-1 pulley, as well as any inflamed tendons.

Trigger finger surgery illustration


Your doctor will carefully cut through the constricted A-1 pulley, a procedure called a release. This should allow the tendon to glide through the pulley smoothly when you make a fist, move the individual finger, or open your hand. The surgeon may also remove some of the thickened tissue from your finger's tendon to help it slide through the pulley easier.

Verification of Release and Recovery


After the pulley is released, your doctor will verify that the tendon nodule no longer catches when it passes through the opened pulley. The procedure is only considered complete when this is confirmed. Clicking, popping, and locking of the finger should no longer occur. The incisions are then closed.


You may experience mild stiffness and tenderness in your hand for a few months after the surgery, but you should be able to resume normal hand activities in a few weeks. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medications and hand therapy, which can be done at our practice, to help the healing process.

Hand to Shoulder team in the surgical suite

The Hand to Shoulder Center

At The Hand to Shoulder Center in Fort Worth, TX, our team of fellowship-trained hand, elbow, and shoulder surgeons treat any and all conditions from the shoulder to the fingertip. Our surgeons perform both elective and reconstructive procedures, including:

  • Joint Replacement
  • Traumatic Injury Surgery
  • Arthroscopic Surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Wide Awake Local Anesthesia Only Surgery

Our physicians are associated with the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. For more information or to request an appointment, please contact us online or call (817) 420-9238.

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Fort Worth Office

5612 Edwards Ranch Rd
Ste 200
Fort Worth, TX 76109

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