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Trigger finger N054
Current RMA Instruments
|Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
|39 of 2019
|Balance of Probabilities SOP
|40 of 2019
SOP bulletin information on new SOPs
This is a condition in which there is an inability to smoothly flex or extend a finger (or thumb), due to the flexor tendon for that finger catching in its tendon sheath. It is one of the most common causes of hand pain in adults. It is more common among women than men and occurs typically in the fifth or sixth decade of life. It can develop in one or multiple fingers and can be bilateral.
Confirming the diagnosis
This diagnosis is made on clinical grounds and can be made by a GP. If multiple fingers are affected then separate diagnoses should generally be made for each finger. If onset in more than one finger was at the same time and had the same cause then a combined diagnosis for those affected fingers can be made.
The relevant medical specialist is an orthopaedic surgeon.
Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
Stenosing flexor tenosynovitis
Conditions not covered by SOP
- de Quervain tendinopathy*
- Dupuytren’s contracture*
- Ligament tear* - sprain and strain SOP
- Tendon tear* - sprain and strain SOP
* Another SOP applies
Clinical onset will be based on when symptoms of catching or locking of a finger first developed. If multiple fingers are affected there may be multiple clinical onsets, warranting separate diagnoses.
The condition tends to progress, with pain developing or worsening and with decreased function. Conservative and surgical treatment options are available. Outcomes tend to be worse in people with diabetes.