A cadaveric assessment of percutaneous trigger finger release with 15° stab knife: its effectiveness and complications

J Orthop Surg Res. 2021 Jul 3;16(1):426. doi: 10.1186/s13018-021-02566-4.


Percutaneous release of the A1 pulley has been introduced as a therapeutic approach for trigger fingers and is suggested as an effective and safe alternative, where conservative treatments fail. The aim of the current study was to determine if percutaneous release with a 15° stab knife can effectively result in acceptable efficacy and lower complication rate.

Methods: In the present study, the percutaneous release of the A1 pulley was evaluated by percutaneous release using a 15° stab knife in 20 fresh-frozen cadaver hands (10 cadavers). One hundred fingers were finally included in the present study. The success rate of A1 pulley release as well as the complications of this method including digital vascular injury, A2 pulley injury, and superficial flexor tendon injury was evaluated, and finally, the data were analyzed by the SPSS software.

Results: The results showed a success rate of 75% for A1 pulley release in four fingers, followed by eleven fingers (90%) and eighty-five fingers (100%). Therefore, the A1 pulley was found to be completely released in eighty-five fingers (100%). Overall, the mean of A1 pulley release for these fingers was determined as 97.9%, indicating that percutaneous trigger finger release can be an effective technique using a 15° stab knife. Furthermore, our findings revealed no significant difference in the amount of A1 pulley release in each of the fingers in the right and left hands. Additionally, 17 fingers developed superficial scrape in flexor tendons, while 83 fingers showed no flexor tendons injuries and no other injuries (i.e., vascular, digital nerve, and A2 pulley injuries).

Conclusions: Percutaneous release of the A1 pulley using a 15° stab knife was contributed to acceptable efficacy and a relatively good safety in the cadaveric model.

Keywords: 15° stab knife; A1 pulley; Percutaneous release; Success rate; Trigger fingers.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Finger Injuries / surgery*
  • Fingers / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surgical Instruments*
  • Tendons / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigger Finger Disorder / surgery*
  • Young Adult