Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

My brother developed what the doctor called a trigger finger. My cousin was treated with this by injecting something, but my brother's doctor wants to do surgery. He says it's because my brother takes insulin for diabetes. Why would surgery be better then?

Answer:

People with diabetes react differently to some types treatments than people without diabetes. At the same time, people with diabetes who take insulin may react differently than those who don't take insulin. Although studies have been done on the effectiveness of corticosteroids to treat trigger finger, there aren't a lot of data on the subject of treating people with diabetes who have trigger finger. The few studies that have been done show that people who take insulin do not have as high a success rate as those who do not take insulin, so this could be why your brother's doctor is suggesting surgery. As well, the decision to suggest surgery may have little to do with the diabetes, but the length of time your brother has had the symptoms and how severe they are. This also plays a role into how effective injections may be. Jorge L. Brito, MD, and Tamara D. Rozental, MD. Corticosteroid Injection for Idiopathic Trigger Finger. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. May 2010. Vol. 35. No. 5. Pp. 831-833.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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