Ultrasound-guided percutaneous release of the annular pulley in trigger digit

Eur Radiol. 2009 Sep;19(9):2232-7. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1397-3. Epub 2009 Apr 28.


The purpose of this study was to describe and evaluate a new technique for ultrasound-guided percutaneous release of the annular pulley in trigger digit using a modified hypodermic needle. A total of 35 ultrasound-guided percutaneous releases were performed on 25 patients diagnosed and referred by hand surgeons in our institution over 16 months from October 2006. Inclusion criteria were as follows: adulthood, triggering present for at least 4 months, failure to respond to conservative management or steroid injections, no previous history of pulley release in the affected digit. Under ultrasound guidance, the affected pulley was released using a standard 19-gauge hypodermic needle bent at two points as the cutting device. Follow-up took place at 12 weeks and 6 months with improvement in triggering and clinically graded pain. At follow-up, no complications had occurred and all patients demonstrated improvement in their triggering, with complete resolution in 32 digits (91%), good improvement in 2 digits (6%) and some improvement in 1 digit (3%). This new technique uses a widely available and safe cutting device and is safe and can be used to provide definitive management for trigger finger, allowing the procedure to be performed in a variety of clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Tendons / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / surgery*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*