Trigger Finger Surgery Complications

Trigger finger can be corrected with surgery.

Generally safe and effective, trigger-finger surgery—as with any medical procedure—carries some risks, including the possibility of nerve damage.

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger or trigger thumb, known medically as stenosing tenosynovitis, occurs when a finger or thumb “catches” when bent. Sometimes, the finger locks in a bent position and fails to straighten. The cause of trigger finger often remains a mystery, according to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.


When non-surgical therapies such as corticosteroid injections, splints and pain medications fail, doctors suggest surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, trigger-finger surgery—an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia—poses little risk.


After the surgery, expect tenderness, discomfort and swelling for a few days, reports the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.


Serious but rare complications from trigger-finger surgery include infection, nerve injury and further damage to the finger or hand, according to Medscape eMedicine.

Risk Factors

Diabetics or immunosuppressed patients—such as organ transplant recipients or those undergoing chemotherapy—have a higher risk of infection, reports Medscape eMedicine.

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