US-guided Percutaneous Release of the Trigger Finger by Using a 21-gauge Needle: A Prospective Study of 60 Cases

Radiology. 2016 Aug;280(2):493-9. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2016151886. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


Purpose To evaluate the efficacy of ultrasonographically (US)-guided percutaneous treatment of the trigger finger by releasing the A1 pulley with a 21-gauge needle. Materials and Methods This two-part study was approved by the ethics committee, and written consent was obtained from all patients. The first part consisted of 10 procedures on cadaver digits followed by dissection to analyze the effectiveness of the A1 pulley release and detect any collateral damage to the A2 pulley, interdigital nerves, or underlying flexor tendons. The second part was performed during an 18-month period starting in March 2013. It was a prospective clinical study of 60 procedures performed in 48 patients. Outcomes were evaluated through a clinical examination at day 0 and during a 6-month follow-up visit, where the trigger digit was evaluated clinically and the Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand outcome measure, or QuickDASH, and patient satisfaction questionnaires were administered. Results No complications were found during the cadaver study. However, the release was considered "partial" in all fingers. In the clinical study, the trigger finger was completely resolved in 81.7% (49 of 60) of cases immediately after the procedure. Moderate trigger finger persisted in 10 cases, and one thumb pulley could not be released. A US-guided corticosteroid injection was subsequently performed in these 11 cases. At 6-month follow-up, only two cases still had moderate trigger finger and there were no late complications. The mean QuickDASH questionnaire score was 4; all patients said they were satisfied. Conclusion US-guided treatment of the trigger finger by using a 21-gauge needle is feasible in current practice, with minimal complications. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Fingers / diagnostic imaging
  • Fingers / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needles
  • Orthopedic Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / surgery*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*