Unfortunately, studies have shown that trigger fingers often do not respond to non-surgical interventions like splints, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and physical therapy. However, a single steroid injection may be curative in 50-75% of cases, but this intervention is less effective in patients that have more than one finger affected, or are experiencing a recurrence following a previous injection. 

Surgical treatment, known as a trigger finger release, is a definitive treatment and is required if someone has failed an injection, has rheumatoid arthritis or has insulin-dependent diabetes.  Surgery is done under local anesthesia to ensure the complete release and requires a surgeon to release the pulley that is causing irritation of the tendon. This release allows the tendon to once again move freely underneath the pulley, ending the cycle of catching and swelling.