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Trigger digits: principles, management, and complications.

Stenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger, is an entity seen commonly by hand surgeons. This problem generally is caused by a size mismatch between the flexor tendon and the first annular (A-1) pulley. Conservative management includes splinting, corticosteroid injection, and other adjuvant modalities. Surgical treatment consists of release of the A-1 pulley by open or percutaneous techniques. Complications are rare but include bowstringing, digital nerve injury, and continued triggering. Some patients require more extensive procedures to reduce the size of the flexor tendon. Comorbid conditions affect how trigger finger is treated. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis require tenosynovectomy instead of A-1 pulley release. In children trigger thumb resolves reliably with A-1 pulley release but other digits may require more extensive surgery. In diabetic patients trigger finger often is less responsive to conservative measures. An understanding of the pathomechanics, risk factors, and varied treatments for trigger finger is essential for appropriate care.

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