Referral to emergency
If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.
For clinical advice, please telephone the relevant metropolitan Local Health Network switchboard and ask to speak to the relevant specialty service.
Central Adelaide Local Health Network
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network
- Flinders Medical Centre (08) 8204 5511
Category 1 - appointment clinically indicated within 30 days
- permanently fixed in full flexion of the digit
Category 2 — appointment clinically indicated within 90 days
- significant pain following trial of immobiliser and corticosteroid injections
- triggering with functional impairment or significant pain following trial of immobiliser and corticosteroid injections
Category 3 — appointment clinically indicated within 365 days
- symptomatic trigger finger unresponsive to maximal medical management following the use of immobilisers and a minimum of one corticosteroid injection, with any of the following:
- painful clicking greater than 6 months
- persistent intermittent trigger finger without the above symptoms
For information on referral forms and how to import them, please view general referral information.
Essential referral information
Completion required before first appointment to ensure patients are ready for care. Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.
- identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
- identify within your referral if you feel your patient is from a vulnerable population and/or requires a third party to receive correspondence on their behalf
- interpreter requirements
- past medical/surgical history
- current medications and dosages
- allergies and sensitivities
- presenting symptoms
- management history including:
- injury/trauma if relevant
- onset and duration
- associated features, e.g. functional impairment
- use of immobiliser/splint/cast
- treatments trialled/implemented prior to referral
Clinical management advice
Please note that hand and wrist referrals can be managed by the following specialist services:
- plastics and reconstructive surgery
Consider referral to allied health/hand therapist and/or trial of corticosteroid injections to manage symptoms.
It is strongly recommended that people who smoke or vape stop 3 months prior to consultation. Smoking/vaping is associated with delayed healing. Refer to Clinical management advice and resources for further information.
If the patient requires urgent attention and/or fulfils category 1 triage criteria, please contact the on-call registrar to discuss and ensure your referral has been received.
- Therapeutic Guidelines - Limb Conditions
- Royal Australian College for General Practitioners - Hands, Fingers, Thumbs Assessment and Management of Common Hand Injuries in General Practice
- Central Adelaide Local Health Network – PreHab: Getting Ready for Surgery