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Trigger finger, Dupuytren’s contracture and carpal tunnel syndrome all affect your hand or fingers. It can be easy to confuse them, but they’re separate conditions caused by different things. And it’s possible to have more than one of them at the same time.
- Trigger finger is a problem with a tendon in your finger, which makes your finger ‘catch’ or lock when you bend it.
- Dupuytren’s contracture happens when ligaments in your palm get thicker and contract. Over time, this pulls one or more of your fingers into your palm.
- In carpal tunnel syndrome, there is pressure on a nerve in your wrist. This leads to pain, numbness and tingling in your hand and fingers.
Having diabetes is a risk factor for all three of these conditions.
Yes. Trigger finger is more common in adults but children can get it too. In children, it’s usually the thumb that’s affected. This is known as ‘trigger thumb’.
Most parents of children with trigger thumb notice the problem between the ages of one and four. You may notice that one or both of your child’s thumbs is always bent. Trigger thumb isn’t usually painful in children.
For most children, trigger thumb gets better without having any treatment. Some children may need surgery to stop their thumbs staying bent. Ask your doctor about the best treatment for your child.
This depends on how severe your symptoms are. Mild symptoms may go away on their own without any treatment. This is more likely if you stop doing activities which might have caused your trigger finger. But in time, your trigger finger symptoms may get worse and start to interfere with your day-to-day life. The pain may become severe, and your finger may become stuck in a bent position.
It’s your choice whether or not to have any treatment for your trigger finger. You can find out about treatments for trigger finger in our treatment section. Talk to your doctor about available treatments and how they may be able to help you.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
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- Tenosynovitis of the hand and wrist. BMJ Best practice. bestpractice.bmj.com, last reviewed December 2020
- Trigger finger. Medscape. emedicine.medscape.com, updated November 2019
- Trigger finger. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. orthoinfo.aaos.org, last reviewed March 2018
- Trigger finger/thumb. The British Society for Surgery of the Hand, BSSH. bssh.ac.uk, accessed January 2021
- Dupuytren’s contracture. Patient. patient.info, last edited August 2016
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Patient. patient.info, last edited May 2019
- Personal communication, Dr Sundeept Bhalara, Consultant Rheumatologist, February 2021