What are options for the conservative treatment of trigger finger (TF)?

Updated: Apr 26, 2021
  • Author: Satishchandra Kale, MD, MBBS, MBA, MCh(Orth), FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Tr&Orth); Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
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Corticosteroid injection in the area of tendon sheath thickening is considered to be the first-line treatment of choice for TF. Custom-made splinting of the MCP joint, albeit rarely used, is another conservative treatment, used in patients who do not wish to undergo a steroid injection or as an adjuvant to injection. Typically, a custom-made splint is used to hold the MCP joint of the involved finger at 10-15° of flexion, leaving the PIP and distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints free.

Physical therapy is generally not required for patients with TF. For cases of chronic TF, however, treatment may include a trial of heating modalities followed by sustained, nonballistic stretching of the flexor tendon, as well as soft-tissue mobilization of the A1 pulley. After injection or surgery, a home exercise (stretching) program may be one component of treatment.

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