Pediatric Trigger Digit Presenting in the Setting of Trauma
BACKGROUND:Pediatric trigger digit is a relatively rare condition with incompletely understood etiology. In our practice, we noted a series of children presenting with pediatric trigger digit after an associated local trauma to the hand, which has not been previously described. The aim of this study was to analyze the nature of presentation of trigger digits, the accuracy of initial diagnosis, and the impact on treatment strategies used. METHODS:An institutional review board-approved retrospective review of our institution's experience with pediatric trigger finger from 2001 to 2015 was performed. RESULTS:Twenty-two patients with 26 affected digits were identified. Eighty-eight percent of patients were diagnosed with trigger thumb, whereas 3 patients (12%) had small finger triggering. Thirteen patients (59%) presented as outpatients, whereas 9 (41%) presented through the emergency department. All patients presenting to the emergency department were in the setting of recent minor trauma. Of this subset of patients, 67% had an incorrect initial diagnosis, leading to an average delay in treatment of 60 days. Ten patients (45% of total) were initially treated with immobilization versus surgical release of the A1 pulley. However, all but 2 of these patients required eventual A1 pulley release for persistent or recurrent triggering (88%). CONCLUSIONS:The cause of trigger digit in children remains incompletely understood and may be multifactorial. In this series, a traumatic component to presentation was found in a significant number of patients. This association with minor trauma may contribute to misdiagnosis and delay in definitive treatment. Although initial treatment with immobilization does not seem to impact surgical outcome, we found a high rate of failure with initial immobilization. Most patients required eventual surgical management, regardless of whether or not the initial presentation was associated with trauma. When performed, we found that A1 pulley release alone has safe, reliable results.
Using Extensor Retinaculum to Reconstruct the Thumb Metacarpophalangeal Joint Ulnar Collateral Ligament
Chronic complete tears of the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint often require surgical reconstruction. The indications, materials used, and the methods for reconstruction remain controversial. We describe a technique for reconstruction that utilizes a slip of the extensor retinaculum for reconstruction. The advantages of extensor retinaculum as a graft choice are that it matches the native ligament with a synovial and nonsynovial surface, has elasticity similar to the ligament and minimal donor site morbidity. Reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament with this graft successfully restores pinch.