Ask Trevor CHT: Success rate of cortisone shots?

Ask Trevor CHT: Success rate of cortisone shots?

Trevor Petrie - Chief Medical Officer
2 minute read

Monica asks:

"I have four trigger fingers, and my doctor wants me to have cortisone shots. I’ve heard many stories from people who said it made their fingers worse. Is it really that bad?"

Certified Hand Therapist Trevor Petrie says:

Outcome measures for cortisone injections are a little all over the place but a 2012 meta-analysis showed a 66% overall success rate with a range between 46% and 92%.

Anecdotally, if it's caught early, cortisone can have a really good rate of trigger finger resolution. I personally haven't seen anyone have lingering issues after cortisone but there can be a fair amount of pain for several days to a week, and it can take up to 4 weeks to really see an effect.

I have seen some people have trouble with outcomes after trigger release surgery, but they can usually be resolved with therapy and only a few cases have needed revision surgery. Literature says success rates with trigger finger release is anywhere from the mid 80%'s to the high 90%'s. Hope this helps!

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