Incision techniques for trigger thumb release: a comparison of outcomes of four types of skin incision

Jaimy E. Koopman*, Jeroen M. Smit, the Hand-Wrist Study Group, Robbert M. Wouters, Ruud W. Selles, J. Michiel Zuidam, Caroline A. Hundepool

*Corresponding author for this work

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Although trigger thumb release is commonly performed, there is no consensus on the optimal skin incision. This study aimed to compare outcomes of four incision techniques, including V-shaped, oblique, transverse and longitudinal incisions. Outcomes included the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire, satisfaction with the treatment and postoperative complications. The results of 875 patients who underwent trigger thumb release were assessed. All groups demonstrated improvement in self-reported hand function (range of 10-14 points), pain (25-27 points) and aesthetics (4-7 points) from baseline to 3 months postoperatively with no differences between incision techniques. Of the patients, 76% reported good or excellent satisfaction with the outcome of treatment. Satisfaction and complication rates of the different incision techniques were similar. These findings imply that there is no clear benefit of one type of incision over another for trigger thumb release, suggesting that surgeons may use the technique of their preference.Level of evidence: III
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery-European Volume
Early online date16 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2024

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