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Closeup of male arms holding his painful wrist caused by prolonged work on the computer, l

DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis 

De Quervain's disease wrist pain

De Quervain's Disease (also known as De Quervain's Tenosynovitis) is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. The disorder occurs when the two tendons that run through a tunnel-like structure called the first dorsal compartment become inflamed or swollen, leading to pain and restricted movement in the wrist and thumb. The condition is named after the Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain, who first identified the disorder in 1895.

Common symptoms of De Quervain's Disease include pain and swelling at the base of the thumb, difficulty gripping objects, and a sensation of "sticking" or "snapping" when moving the thumb.


The exact cause of De Quervain's Disease remains unclear, but it is believed that repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as lifting, grasping, or twisting, may contribute to the development of the condition. Other risk factors include a history of other inflammatory conditions, pregnancy, and hormonal changes.


To diagnose De Quervain's Disease, healthcare providers typically perform a physical examination and utilize a diagnostic test called the Finkelstein test.

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Treatment options

These include a splint to prevent the thumb and the wrist from moving excessively.


Anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics and cortisone injections into the sheath of the tendons, which is performed by a radiologist under ultrasound guidance.


Failure of non-surgical treatment usually over 6 weeks does often lead to surgical treatment. This often requires a light general anaesthetic and can be done as a day case. Typically, the sheath which contains the tendons is opened and any excess tissue around the tendons is removed.


Rehabilitation involves early movement of the thumb and wrist with a hand therapist and usually results in full resolution of symptoms by 4 – 6 weeks.

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