, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 183-190
Date: 01 Feb 2013

Resolution and recurrence rates of idiopathic trigger finger after corticosteroid injection

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This study addresses factors associated with apparent resolution and recurrence of triggering using data from providers with various treatment strategies.


A retrospective review identified 878 adult patients with 1,210 Quinnell grade 2 or 3 trigger fingers that had one or more corticosteroid injections by one of three surgeons between 2001 and 2011. Two surgeons injected dexamethasone, but one had patients return 1 month after injection and was quick to recommend surgery (strategy A) and the other had patients return 2 months after injection, offered another injection or surgery, and followed the patient’s preference. One surgeon used triamcinolone, had patients return only if the injection did not work, and waited at least 3 months to offer surgery. Factors associated with apparent resolution and recurrence of triggering were sought in bivariable and multivariable statistical analysis.


Triamcinolone injection was associated with more frequent apparent resolution (83 %), than dexamethasone injection (30 %). Apparent resolution of triggering was also associated with a delayed surgery treatment strategy (B and C) and the affected finger (long and ring fingers were less likely to resolve). Return with triggering after documented or presumed resolution occurred in 188 fingers (33 %) and was associated with triamcinolone injection, index, long and ring finger, and orally treated non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Strategy A had the lowest initial apparent resolution rate, the highest proportion of patients having surgery, and the lowest final triggering rate of 10 %.


Both treatment strategy and type of corticosteroid determine apparent resolution and recurrence rates.