Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Release as a Risk Factor of Trigger Finger

World J Plast Surg. 2020 May;9(2):174-178. doi: 10.29252/wjps.9.2.174.


Background: Carpal tunnel release (CTR) is acknowledged as a predisposing factor for the development of the trigger finger. However, the incidence of new-onset trigger finger after CTR surgery has been inconsistently reported. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the prevalence of CTR as a risk factor of the development of the trigger finger.

Methods: In a retrospective study, 57 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for the treatment of trigger finger were included. The severity of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) was determined using the electromyogram test and nerve conduction study. The clinical and demographic characteristics of the patients were extracted from their medical profiles and compared between patients who did and did not develop a trigger finger after CTR.

Results: Post-CTR trigger finger was detected in 15 (26.3%) patients. The trigger finger occurred approximately six months after CTR surgery. The thumb and ring fingers were the most commonly involved fingers. Ten out of 15 (66.7%) patients who developed a post-CTR trigger finger had mild-to-moderate CTS, and five (33.3%) patients had severe CTS. No significant difference was found between the patients who did and did not develop a trigger finger after CTR.

Conclusion: The rate of developing a post-CTR trigger finger was remarkable in our study. Therefore, the potential sequelae should be discussed with patients, preoperatively.

Keywords: Carpal tunnel syndrome; Prevalence; Trigger finger.