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DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis

This is inflammation of 2 tendons on the radial (thumb) side of the wrist. The tendons attach to the base of the thumb.

The patient complains of pain at the wrist or the forearm. The pain is worse with movement of the wrist and thumb. Examination shows tenderness on the radial side of the wrist. The pain is reproduced if the thumb is placed in the palm and held with the other fingers. The wrist is then deviated to the opposite side. This is known as Finkelstein’s test.

The diagnosis can be confirmed with ultrasound or MRI scanning.

It is initially treated with hand therapy (bracing, rest, analgesia), but if unsuccessful steroid injections may be beneficial. If all fails, surgery can be considered where the tendon sheath (covering of the tendons) is split to release the tendons.