Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

My husband had a trigger finger treated with an injection two years ago and it helped for about year and a half, when it came back. He had another injection, but four months later, it isn't working any more. Now, he wants another one but his doctor says no, that my husband needs surgery. Why do surgery if the injection does the trick?

Answer:

Injecting a corticosteroid to treat a trigger finger is the usual and most commonly accepted treatment. For many people, the one injection is all they need. However, not everyone responds the same way, as you can see with your husband. A second injection has a lower success rate than the first one, and there is no proof that a third injection is of any use. Because the trigger finger returned so quickly after the second injection, his doctor likely feels that a third injection just won't help. That is probably why he suggested surgery, which has a very high success rate. John A. McAuliffe, MD. Tendon Disorders of the Hand and Wrist. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. May 2010. Vol. 35. No. 5. Pp. 846-853.

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