Effectiveness of interventions of specific complaints of the arm, neck, and/or shoulder: 3 musculoskeletal disorders of the hand. An update

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Feb;91(2):298-314. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2009.09.023.


Objectives: To provide an evidence-based overview of the effectiveness of conservative and surgical interventions for trigger finger, Dupuytren's, and De Quervain's diseases.

Data sources: The Cochrane Library, PEDro, PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL were searched to identify relevant studies.

Study selection: Two reviewers independently applied the inclusion criteria to select potential relevant studies from the title and abstracts of the references retrieved by the literature search. Relevant (Cochrane) reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included.

Data extraction: Two reviewers independently extracted the data and performed a methodologic quality assessment.

Data synthesis: A best-evidence synthesis was performed to summarize the results of the included trials. One Cochrane review (trigger finger) and 13 RCTs (trigger finger [6], Dupuytren's [4], De Quervain's [3]) were included. The trials reported on physiotherapy (De Quervain's), steroid injections (trigger finger, De Quervain's), surgical treatment (trigger finger, De Quervain's), and a postsurgical treatment (Dupuytren's). For trigger finger, moderate evidence was found for the effectiveness of steroid injections in the short-term (1-4 wk) but not for long-term outcomes. Limited evidence was found for the effectiveness of staples compared with sutures in skin closure and for intermittent compression after surgery to treat Dupuytren's disease. For other interventions, no evidence was found.

Conclusions: Indications for effectiveness of some interventions for trigger finger, Dupuytren's, and De Quervain's diseases were found. Because only a few RCTs were identified, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions. High-quality RCTs are clearly needed in this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • De Quervain Disease / diagnosis
  • De Quervain Disease / etiology
  • De Quervain Disease / therapy*
  • Dupuytren Contracture / diagnosis
  • Dupuytren Contracture / etiology
  • Dupuytren Contracture / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / diagnosis
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / etiology
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / therapy*