A majority of patients with diabetes have trigger digits. Initial management of symptomatic trigger digits commonly involves corticosteroid injection. However, varying outcomes have been reported for patients with diabetes who receive corticosteroid injections. The authors conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of diabetes on outcome after corticosteroid injection for trigger digit. PubMed and other Internet databases were searched for the period 1977 to 2015. Five articles, involving 381 diabetic digits and 449 non-diabetic digits, were included in the meta-analysis. The authors found treatment failure rates of 78% for patients with insulin-dependent diabetes, 47% for patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and 49% for patients without diabetes when a single injection of corticosteroid was administered for trigger digit. After 3 injections, the failure rates were 57%, 39%, and 30%, respectively. The pooled data showed that patients with insulin-dependent diabetes and patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes had worse prognoses after corticosteroid injection for trigger digit than patients without diabetes. Furthermore, the patients with insulin-dependent diabetes had a trend toward multiple digit involvement and much worse treatment outcomes than the patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The authors conclude that more aggressive treatment, such as surgical intervention, should be considered for those patients expected to have high failure rates after injection.
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