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J Rheumatol. 1997 May;24(5):931-6.

Corticosteroid responsive tenosynovitis is a common pathway for limited joint mobility in the diabetic hand.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131, USA.



To test the hypothesis that diabetic tenosynovitis participates in the contractures of the syndrome of limited joint mobility (SLJM).


Adults with diabetes mellitus were referred for the evaluation of diabetic hand conditions. Patients with SLJM or diabetic trigger finger were studied after Dupuytren's contracture, hand neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis were excluded. A time series design was employed in which patients were observed for 3 mo to obtain a baseline, then the planar flexor tendon sheaths were injected with 10 mg of methylprednisolone acetate or 10 mg triamcinolone acetonide and were reassessed at 1, 3, and 12 mo.


Response rates, defined by complete resolution of digital contractures and triggering after corticosteroid injection, were 94% (31/33), 76% 28/33), and 61% (17/29) at 1, 3, and 12 mo, respectively, which were all significantly different from preinjection (p < 0.001). Individual response rates for SLJM and trigger finger were similar. No appreciable differences between methylprednisolone acetate and triamcinolone acetonide were observed, although there was a trend for earlier recurrence with methylprednisolone.


Corticosteroid injection is a safe and effective therapy that should be considered in patients with SLJM or diabetic trigger finger. The excellent response to injection indicates that diabetic tenosynovitis is a common pathway in diabetic hand conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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