Incidence of Trigger Finger in Surgically and Nonsurgically Managed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of hand surgery global online








Carpal tunnel release; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Epidemiology; Trigger finger


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether extremities undergoing carpal tunnel release (CTR) have an increased rate of trigger finger (TF) compared with conservatively managed carpal tunnel syndrome. METHODS: Data were collected from the Humana Insurance Database, and subjects were chosen on the basis of a history of CTR with propensity matching performed to develop a nonsurgical cohort. Following propensity matching, 16,768 patients were identified and equally split between surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Demographic information and medical comorbidities were recorded. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify risk factors for the development of TF within 6 months of carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis. RESULTS: Patients in the surgical cohort were more likely to develop TF than those in the nonsurgical cohort whether in the ipsilateral or contralateral extremity. Whether managed surgically or nonsurgically, extremities with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated an increased prevalence of TF than their contralateral, unaffected extremity. CONCLUSIONS: Surgeons should be aware of the association of TF and CTR both during the presurgical and postsurgical evaluations as they might impact patient management. With knowledge of these data, surgeons may be more attuned to detecting an early TF during the postsurgical period and offer more aggressive treatment of TF pathology during CTR. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic III.


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