Trigger finger in children usually involves the thumb

Trigger finger in children refers to a difference in which the digit, almost exclusively the thumb, locks or catches when it’s flexed and extended.

Occasionally, parents will complain that their son or daughter cannot straighten out their finger or thumb.

Trigger finger in children most likely involves the thumbThe thumb is the involved finger most of the time with trigger finger in children. The parents may go on to say that they can straighten the finger out but they feel a small pop when they do so.

Trigger finger is a condition which is associated mostly with adults, but occasionally a child may be born with this condition.  Often it is not noticed for some time by the parents.

When seen in infants the trigger is observed for a time.  Occasionally, trigger finger in children will correct spontaneously and no other treatment is needed.  However, if the triggering persists, then treatment is indicated to prevent joint contracture.

If the effected joint is flexed for too long then it will become stiff and not move well even if the triggering is resolved.

The treatment of trigger finger in children involves a small surgical procedure to open the pulley, allowing the tendon to slide freely through it.

Historically, this condition in children has been referred to as congenital trigger thumb. However, recent evidence indicates that it usually presents sometime after infancy; it is thus more appropriately referred to as pediatric trigger thumb.

Although present at birth, diagnosis is often not made until 4-6 months of age

Trigger finger in children prognosis:

If trigger thumb is present at birth, approximately 30 % of children will recover spontaneously in one year.

12 % of the trigger thumbs that develop at the age of six to 30 months recover in six months

However, if trigger thumb develops in a child over three years of age, it almost never improves spontaneously. Therefore, it is wise to operate as soon as acceptable at this age.

Trigger finger in children Treatment:

Surgery should be considered if not resolved by 12 months of age. Most surgical procedures for trigger thumb should be postponed until the age of 2 yrs, but should not be delayed beyond 3 yrs because of possible flexion contractures.

Trigger finger symptoms


trigger thumb in children

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