Trigger Finger Release Surgery: Procedure, Benefits and Recovery

Trigger Finger Release Surgery

Trigger finger release surgery, also known as a trigger finger release or trigger thumb release, is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate the symptoms of a condition known as trigger finger or trigger thumb. Trigger finger is a condition in which one of your fingers or your thumb gets stuck in a bent position and then straightens with a snap – like a trigger being pulled and released. This condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons in the finger or thumb.



The procedural commencement entails scrupulous attention to preoperative considerations. A discerning application of local anesthetic is methodically executed, ensuring profound sensory attenuation within the surgical domain. In instances demanding a more extensive intervention or when addressing multifocal pathology, the judicious adoption of general anesthesia is contemplatively undertaken. This ensures a comprehensive analgesic milieu, upholding patient comfort throughout the entirety of the surgical undertaking.


The inaugural phase of the trigger finger release surgery is characterized by a calculated incisional approach. The surgeon, exemplifying precision as a cardinal tenet, executes a diminutive incision in the palm, meticulously situated in proximity to the metacarpophalangeal joint. This strategic placement optimizes both visibility and accessibility to the region affected by the contractile pathology of the flexor tendon sheath.

Tendon Sheath Release

The crux of the operative intervention resides in the refined technique of tendon sheath release. With surgical finesse, the surgeon discerningly identifies and excises the tense segment of the tendon sheath, colloquially termed the pulley. This anatomical liberation stands as the linchpin in ameliorating the restrictive impediments curtailing the unimpeded excursion of the flexor tendon. The ostensibly modest incision serves as the conduit for the surgeon’s precision, effectuating the liberation of the tendon from its constrictive milieu, thereby reinstating optimal gliding functionality.


The denouement of the surgical narrative entails the fastidious closure of the incision, an undertaking executed with exemplary finesse. Employing surgical sutures, the incision is meticulously approximated, ensuring optimal wound alignment. This meticulous closure transcends procedural formality; it assumes the mantle of a critical determinant in averting untoward complications and fostering an environment conducive to seamless healing. The sutural closure stands as a testament to the surgical commitment to precision, attenuating the prospect of postoperative sequelae.


  • Improved Range of Motion: The primary goal of trigger finger release surgery is to improve the range of motion of the affected finger or thumb. By releasing the tight tendon sheath, the finger can move more freely.
  • Pain Relief: Individuals with trigger finger often experience pain and discomfort, especially when the finger or thumb gets stuck in a bent position. The surgery can alleviate this pain by allowing for smoother movement.
  • Quick Recovery: Trigger finger release is often performed on an outpatient basis, and the recovery time is relatively quick. Many people can resume normal activities within a few days to weeks.
  • Low Risk: The surgery is generally considered safe, and serious complications are rare.
  • High Success Rate: Trigger finger release surgery has a high success rate in resolving the symptoms associated with the trigger finger. Most people experience significant improvement after the procedure.
Trigger Finger Release Surgery

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation often involves exercises to improve the finger’s range of motion and strength. It’s essential for individuals to follow their surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to optimize recovery.

  • Initial Recovery Phase: Following surgery, patients undergo immediate postoperative monitoring to assess vital signs and manage pain. Vigilance during this phase is crucial for a smooth transition to the next stages.
  • Controlled Mobilization: Controlled mobilization begins with gentle exercises aimed at improving finger range of motion and preventing adhesions. This step is gradually escalated under professional guidance.
  • Physical Therapy: Structured physical therapy, focusing on strength, flexibility, and dexterity, plays a vital role in optimizing recovery. Tailored exercises help individuals regain functional capacity.
  • Postoperative Care: Strict adherence to postoperative care, including wound care and prescribed medications, is essential for minimizing complications and ensuring proper healing.
  • Complication Monitoring: Ongoing vigilance is needed to promptly address any signs of infection, swelling, persistent pain, or abnormal sensations in the treated finger.
  • Gradual Resumption of Activities: Resuming daily activities is approached gradually, aligning with individual milestones set by healthcare providers. This phased approach minimizes strain on the treated finger.
  • Long-Term Follow-Up: Regular long-term follow-up appointments assess sustained outcomes, address concerns, and provide ongoing guidance for maintaining optimal hand health.

Conclusion – Trigger Finger Release Surgery

It’s important to note that, as with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications, such as infection, bleeding, or damage to surrounding structures. The decision to undergo trigger finger release surgery is typically made after conservative treatments, such as rest, splinting, and anti-inflammatory medications, have proven ineffective.

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