Acquired thumb flexion contracture in children: Congenital trigger thumb

J. B. Slakey, W. L. Hennrikus

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78 Scopus citations


We examined prospectively 4719 newborn infants to determine the congenital incidence of trigger thumb. No cases were found. Fifteen other children aged from 15 to 51 months had surgery for this condition. The anomaly had not been seen at birth and all thumbs presented with a flexion contracture without triggering. The condition is usually seen after birth as a flexion contracture of the interphalangeal joint. The term 'congenital' is a misnomer because patients acquire the deformity after birth. The term 'trigger' is inaccurate as most thumbs show a fixed-flexion contracture without triggering. We suggest that rather than 'congenital trigger thumb' a more appropriate description of this disorder is 'acquired thumb flexion contracture in children'. If the contracture persists after one year of age, treatment by dividing the A-1 pulley is simple and effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-483
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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