What is the best treatment for trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis)?
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Injection with corticosteroid and lidocaine has a high success rate and low morbidity (SOR: B, a small meta-analysis). Surgical release appears to be more effective than corticosteroid injections for treatment of trigger finger; it is associated with increased pain at 1 month, although no difference by 6 months (SOR: B, single RCT). Physical therapy (with multiple modalities including ultrasound, massage, finger exercises, stretching, and wax therapy) is less effective than corticosteroid injection, but may have a role in prevention of recurrence of symptoms (SOR: B, single RCT). Splinting may reduce pain and severity of triggering (SOR: B, retrospective study).
Evidence Based Practice 16(4): 09-10.