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J Hand Surg Am. 1992 Jan;17(1):110-3.

Trigger fingers and thumb: when to splint, inject, or operate.

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Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.


Fifty trigger fingers were treated by splinting of the metacarpophalangeal joint at 10 to 15 degrees of flexion for an average of 6 weeks (range, 3 to 9 weeks). Another 50 trigger fingers were injected with 0.5 ml of betamethasone sodium phosphate and acetate suspension (Celestone) and 0.5 ml of lidocaine. All patients were followed up for a minimum of 1 year (range, 1 to 4 years). Treatment was successful in 33 (66%) of the splinted digits and 42 (84%) of the injected digits. Fifty percent of the 10 splinted thumbs and 70% of the 40 splinted fingers had a successful outcome. Of the 17 unsuccessfully treated digits in the splinted group, 15 were later cured with injections and 2 required surgery. All of the 7 unsuccessfully treated digits in the injected group were cured with surgery. Patients with marked triggering, symptoms of more than 6 months' duration, and multiple involved digits had a higher rate of failure in both groups. Splinting offers an alternative for patients who have a strong objection to cortisone injection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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