Surgical Treatment of Trigger Thumb and Trigger Finger

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Suzanne Steinman


Trigger thumb and trigger finger in children both can result in a painful “triggering” or fixed contracture of the digit. Although they clinically present in a similar fashion, they have quite different treatment methods. Trigger thumb is an acquired condition, with observation for spontaneous resolution as the initial treatment. If trigger thumb fails to resolve with observation, then surgical treatment involves release of the A1 pulley. Conversely, trigger finger is usually due to a congenital difference in the finger flexor anatomy but can be due to metabolic, inflammatory and other conditions. Initial treatment of trigger finger involves extension splinting, but in cases requiring surgical treatment A1 pulley release and excision of a slip of the flexor digitorum superficialis tendon is typically needed. It is crucial for the treating provider to understand these differences in diagnosis and treatment to ensure the best outcome of these similar but unique conditions.

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How to Cite
Steinman, S. (2021). Surgical Treatment of Trigger Thumb and Trigger Finger. Journal of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, 3(1).
Master's Surgical Techniques