Trigger finger is one of the most common upper extremity problems in the outpatient department. Conservative treatment is the mainstay for management of trigger digits especially steroid injection with highly satisfactory outcome and minimal complication. Conventional injection technique (CI) that approaches flexor tendon sheath over metacarpal head directly causes pain for most patients. The proximal phalanx injection technique (P1I) at palmar surface of midproximal phalanx is simple and less painful for the patients. We compared pain result and effectiveness between these two methods. Forty patients with primary trigger fingers were placed in a prospective randomized study to receive steroid injection with either the CI or P1I techniques. Demographic data were recorded. Immediately after the injection, pain score was recorded for each patient using the pain visual analog scale. The patients were followed every month for three months to determine recurrent symptoms. Student's t-test, chi-square and Fisher's exact test were used for data analysis. The mean pain VAS scores immediately post-injection were 7.3 ± 1.3 and 3.2 ± 2.2 in the CI and P1I techniques, respectively. The P1I technique group had a significantly lower pain score than CI technique group (p < 0.001). The recurrence rate was 15% in the CI technique when compared to 25% in the P1I technique which was not significant (p = 0.685). We concluded that the P1I technique is less painful than the CI technique without any significant difference in recurrence rate between the two groups at three months follow-up.
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