Corticosteroid injections effective for trigger finger

Clinical question: 
How effective are corticosteroid injections for trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) in adults?
Bottom line: 
Intra-tendon sheath corticosteroid injection with lidocaine was more effective (37%) than lidocaine alone (17%) on treatment success at 4 weeks (NNT* 3). No adverse events or side effects were reported. In 1 study, the effects of corticosteroid injections lasted up to 4 months. *NNT= number needed to treat to benefit 1 individual
Caveat: 
The methodological quality of the 2 studies included was poor and there were some flaws in the quality of reporting. The 2 trials were performed in the setting of secondary care and generalisability to other settings (eg, primary care) remains to be established.
Context: 
Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) is a disease of the tendons of the hand leading to triggering, snapping or locking of affected fingers, dysfunction and pain. The lifetime prevalence of trigger finger among a group of non-diabetics above the age of 30 years has been estimated at 2.2%. Available treatments include local injection with corticosteroids, surgery or splinting.
Review CD#: 
CD005617
PEARLS No: 
162
Date: 
May, 2009
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy