Risk Factors Associated With Progression to Surgical Release After Injection of Trigger Digits

H. Paco Kang, Venus Vakhshori, Kurt Mohty, Ali Azad, Rachel Lefebvre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction:The mainstay of trigger finger treatment is a corticosteroid injection of the affected digits and is associated with a very high success rate. However, some patients do not respond to nonsurgical management and undergo subsequent surgical release. The purpose of this study is to investigate the comorbidities that predispose patients to progressing from injection to surgical release.Methods:Patient data were obtained from a national insurance database. All patients aged 20 years or older who underwent trigger digit injection were included. Any injection that did not specify the digit was excluded. Subsequent procedures, including repeat injection and surgical release, were identified using relevant Current Procedural Terminology codes. A multivariate model was constructed to evaluate potential risk factors for requiring release after prior injection of the same digit. Stepwise backward selection was used to retain significant variables.Results:A total of 42,537 trigger digits were identified in 31,830 patients, most of whom were female. The right hand was affected more commonly than the left. The middle and ring fingers were the most commonly affected digits. Over 80% of all trigger digits underwent only a single injection, and approximately 90% of injected digits did not require subsequent release. In the multivariate model, factors associated with higher risk of release were male sex, involvement of additional digits, multiple injections of the same digit, chronic pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, alcohol abuse, and depression. The model also found small fingers to be less likely to progress to release.Discussion:Patients with the risk factors identified in this study are more likely to progress to surgical release after trigger finger injection. Although prospective studies are required, the information may be beneficial in counseling patients and their treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20.00159
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 7 2021
Externally publishedYes

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© 2020 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.


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