What are conservative treatment options for 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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Most trigger digits in adults can be managed successfully with local steroid injections and splinting. [39] Oral or topical pharmacologic measures have not been demonstrated to be effective. A 2021 Cochrane review found that injection of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs offered little or no benefit as compared with steroids. [40]

The outcome of conservative treatment for pediatric trigger thumb is somewhat controversial. [41] A report by Baek et al on the natural history of this condition demonstrated that after a follow-up period of 5 years or more in patients who received no treatment for pediatric trigger thumb, complete resolution of flexion deformity occurred in 66 out of 87 thumbs (75.9%), and partial improvement occurred in the remaining 21 thumbs. [30, 42]

Another study, by Lee et al, reported that extension splinting for 12 weeks led to improvement in 71% of thumbs, compared with 23% improvement in patients not receiving any treatment. [43] See also the recommendations described by Ogino. [44]

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