Trigger Finger Release

Trigger finger means that the fingers are locked in position in the palm of the hand and are difficult to straighten. This happens when the tendon in the palm thickens and becomes stuck. The procedure to correct this condition is called trigger finger release.

The operation is usually carried out as a day-case, which means the patient does not need to stay in hospital overnight, under either general or local anaesthetic. The surgeon makes a small incision in the palm to slit the tendon sheath allowing the finger to straighten. The incision is then stitched up. The procedure takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes.  


Patients are usually given a long lasting local anaesthetic to keep the hand pain free afterwards, this may cause the palm and fingers to feel numb for about 10 hours. Stiches are usually removed one to two weeks following the operation. Patients should follow the surgeon’s advice about driving, returning to work, doing sport and heavy lifting. Full recovery may take up to a month.  

Trigger finger release is generally considered a safe procedure, however all surgery carries an element of risk. Patients may have some pain, swelling and bruising for one to two weeks following the operation. Complications associated with this surgery include injury to nerves, blood vessels or tendons in the hand however these are rare. The surgeon will discuss in detail the risks and advantages of this surgery with the patient.