Transdermal Anaesthesia for Percutaneous Trigger Finger Release

Hand Surg. 2006;11(3):159-62. doi: 10.1142/S0218810406003218.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficiency of transdermal anaesthesia using eutectic mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine (EMLA) in patients undergoing percutaneous trigger finger release and to compare it with lidocaine infiltration. In this prospective, randomised study percutaneous release of the A1 annular pulley was performed to treat stenosing tenosynovitis (trigger finger syndrome) in 50 patients (50 fingers). The procedure was performed either under transdermal anaesthesia using EMLA applied transcutaneously 120 minutes prior to the operation (Group A, n = 25) or using local infiltration anaesthesia using lidocaine (Group B, n = 25). Pain experienced during administration of anaesthesia and during the operation was assessed using a 10-point Visual Analogue Pain Scale (VAPS), while all patients rated the effectiveness of anaesthesia with a 5-point scale. There were no significant differences between the two groups in the VAPS during the operation (1.33 +/- 0.52 versus 1.59 +/- 0.87) and the satisfaction scores (4.6 +/- 0.2 versus 4.4 +/- 0.3). The VAPS score during the administration of anaesthesia was statistically significantly less in the EMLA group (0 versus 5.96 +/- 2.41). All patients were satisfied with the final result of the operation. Percutaneous trigger finger release can be performed as an office procedure with the use of EMLA avoiding the use of injectable local infiltration anaesthesia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ointments
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prilocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / surgery*


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Ointments
  • Prilocaine
  • Lidocaine