A trigger digit is a thumb or finger that gets stuck in a curled down position, but can usually be brought straight by the patient either using force with the affected finger, or using their other hand. This happens because as we get older we form little nodules in our flexor tendons, the tendons on the front surface of the hand. These tendons run through very tight pulleys, to make the finger stronger when gripping objects. However, with age these pulleys can thicken and then the nodules can no longer run smoothly through the pulleys and get stuck.

Mr Wharton offers steroid injection in the clinic for trigger digits. This condition is very responsive to steroid injections, and around 2/3 of people will be cured with a single injection. If a first one doesn’t work then a second may be helpful. Should those fail, or if the patient prefers it, Mr Wharton offers trigger release surgery under local anaesthetic. The palm is numbed with anaesthetic injections, and a small cut is made over the first pulley which tends to be the one causing the trouble. This can then be divided and released, and the tendon usually then glides smoothly, without any loss in strength. After the surgery the patient should elevate their hand for at least five days, and keep the wound dry for at least two weeks. Often the tendons can get stuck to each other because of the inflammation, and if that is the case Mr Wharton will recommend hand therapy exercises to help them glide differentially.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or is experiencing pain in their hand or wrist and would like a consultant-led review, please contact us. Grosvenor Orthopaedics have extensive experience in the treatment of this condition with excellent patient outcomes.


Grosvenor Orthopaedics have extensive experience in the treatment of hip -related injuries with excellent patient outcomes.


If you would like to learn about other hand & wrist conditions click the button below

our specialist HAND & WRIST consultants

Hand and Wrist care at Grosvenor Orthopaedics is lead by Mr Rupert Wharton who is a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon with an NHS base at Kingston Hospital. He is further supported by the orthopaedic team here including other consultant surgeons, nurses and care staff.

Our team are well placed to manage and treat a diverse range of hand and wrist concerns utilising cutting edge diagnostic technology and treatment approaches, both surgical and conservative. Below is an overview of some of the conditions we treat but for a more thorough understanding please contact our team here

Mr Rupert Wharton

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon

Dip Hand Surg (Br and Eur) | BOA Future Leaders Programme 2023 | FEBHS
Rupert Wharton is a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon with an NHS base at Kingston Hospital. He has an interest in injuries and degenerative conditions of the hand and wrist, and works closely with hand therapy colleagues to ensure all non operative solutions have been tried before considering surgery.

What some of our patients say

Mrs EL

Thank you for taking great care of me throughout the whole operation process! My recovery has been much faster than anticipated and I am pain free after such a long time!