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Idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger: is there an association?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and trigger finger are known to occur together in association with conditions such as diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism. Although most cases that present to a hand clinic have no obvious predisposing cause, the two conditions often appear together in the same patient. We performed a prospective study of the prevalence of CTS in hospital outpatients presenting with trigger finger. Six hundred and eighty-one patients with CTS, trigger finger or both conditions were recruited prospectively. Diagnosis of both disorders was made on clinical grounds. The study group comprised 551 patients with no obvious predisposing cause. Of 211 patients with trigger finger, 91 (43%) also had CTS. This prevalence is substantially higher than the population prevalence of CTS of approximately 4%. Our data support an association between idiopathic CTS and idiopathic trigger finger and lend support to common pathophysiological factors.

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