Cochrane Summaries

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Local corticosteroid injection for trigger finger

Peters-Veluthamaningal C, van der Windt DAWM, Winters JC, Meyboom- de Jong B
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of corticosteroid injection for trigger finger.

Pain and symptoms of people with trigger finger may improve with a corticosteroid injection.

What is trigger finger and corticosteroid injection?

Trigger finger is a disease of the tendons of the finger, which makes the finger difficult to straighten.  It causes snapping or locking of the affected finger when flexing or stretching. Sometimes it can cause the hand to become painful. 

Corticosteroid injections are shots with a needle into a joint (such as your finger) or a tendon.  Corticosteroids work by reducing the inflammation of the finger.  The injection itself might also help to relieve the pressure on the tendon.

Best estimate of what happens after a corticosteroid injection:

37 out of 100 people benefited from corticosteroid injection combined with a painkiller; compared to 17 out of 100 people who benefited following injection with a painkiller only.

This record should be cited as: 
Peters-Veluthamaningal C, van der Windt DAWM, Winters JC, Meyboom- de Jong B. Corticosteroid injection for trigger finger in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005617. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005617.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
29 April 2008
Arthritis topics: