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ICD-10 M65
ICD-9 727.0
DiseasesDB 31136
MedlinePlus 001242
MeSH D013717

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: M.Umer Tariq [3] Kiran Singh, M.D. [4]

Synonyms and keywords: Tendon sheath inflammation; inflammation of the tendon sheath


Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath (called the synovium) that surrounds a tendon. Symptoms of tenosynovitis include pain, swelling , and difficulty moving a particular joint where the inflammation occurs. When the condition causes the finger to "stick" in a flexed position, this is called "stenosing" tenosynovitis, which is commonly called "Trigger Finger."

When the finger tendon is inflamed, the synovium swells. Sometimes the tendon cannot slide easily through the synovium. When you straighten your finger, the tendon locks or sticks as it squeezes through the too-small synovium.

It usually occurs with tendinitis and it is related to stenosing tenosynovitis.


Causes of trigger finger are unknown. Repeated use of hand tools can precede the condition, as well as arthritis or injury. Trigger Finger sometimes runs in families, and is generally seen more often in males than in females. The causes for children are even less known and have a recurrence rate of less than 1-5% after treatment.

(By organ system)

Cardiovascular No underlying causes
Chemical / poisoning No underlying causes
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect Pergolide, Pramipexole, Rasagiline
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine No underlying causes
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic No underlying causes
Genetic No underlying causes
Hematologic No underlying causes
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease


Musculoskeletal / Ortho No underlying causes
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional / Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic No underlying causes
Opthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose / Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal / Electrolyte No underlying causes
Rheum / Immune / Allergy

DeQuervain's syndrome, Polymyalgia Rheumatica,

Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma No underlying causes
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes

(In alphabetical order) Other causes and associated conditions are:


History and Symptoms

  • Problems moving joints
  • Pain, swelling and tenderness around a joint, particularly the hand, wrist, foot, and ankle
  • Pain when moving the affected joint

Physical Examination

A physical examination shows swelling over the involved tendon. The health care provider may touch or stretch the tendon or have you move the muscle to which it is attached to see whether you experience pain. [1]



Possible treatments for tenosynovitis include cortisone injections (then a course of paracetomal and ibuprofen for pain) and an outpatient surgery to enlarge the synovium. The hand is splinted for a week or so.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001242.htm
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Dermatology Atlas".

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