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Surgery For De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

How Can I Prepare Myself For The Operation

First Extensor Compartment Release for deQuervains Tenosynovitis

If you smoke, stopping smoking now may reduce your risk of developing complications and will improve your long-term

Try to maintain a healthy weight. You have a higher risk of developing complications if you are overweight.

Regular exercise should help to prepare you for the operation, help you to recover and improve your long-term health. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

How Is De Quervains Tenosynovitis Diagnosed

To diagnose de Quervains tenosynovitis, your doctor may do a simple test. It is called the Finkelstein test. First, you bend your thumb so it rests across your palm. Then you make a fist, closing your fingers over your thumb. Last, you bend your wrist toward your little finger. If you have tenderness or pain at the base of your thumb, you probably have de Quervains tenosynovitis.

Other tests such as X-rays usually arent needed to diagnose the condition.

How Does De Quervains Tenosynovitis Happen

The most common cause of De Quervains Tenosynovitis is chronic overuse of the wrist. Daily repetitive movements can lead to great irritation and pain.

Additionally, women are at higher risk of developing De Quervains Tenosynovitis. Arthritis, hormonal changes , and wrist injuries can be triggers as well.

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How Long Can I Expect To Be Off Work After Wrist Surgery

A Few Weeks of Rest Depending on the type of wrist surgery you get done, your recovery can be anywhere from 4 12 weeks. Most patients are able to heal in about a month and can begin rehabilitation soon after. During the healing period, you should wear appropriate casts or braces as directed by your surgeon.

What Are The Symptoms Of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Treatment Options for De Quervain

The most common symptoms of De Quervains tenosynovitis include:

  • Swelling near the base of your thumb
  • Difficulty moving your thumb and wrist
  • Severe pain near the base of your thumb
  • A sticking sensation in your thumb when moving it

Any of the above symptoms are signs that you should see a doctor. Many patients think they simply have hand pain and try to tough it out. However, the longer you wait to see a doctor, the more likely it is that youll end up with complications.

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Are There Surgical Complications To Consider

All cosmetic procedures come with a degree of risk, which your plastic surgeon will have talked to you about. De Quervain syndrome is no different and comes with the following risks and complications:

  • Infection at the incision site
  • Scarring of the incision area
  • Thumb tendons might move out of place
  • Stiffness, severe loss and total loss of use of the hand
  • Numbness at the back of the thumb

While some of these complications are rare, you still need to go into the surgery well-informed and aware of all the risks.

Can You Lift Weights With De Quervains Tenosynovitis

In patients who participate in activities such as racquet sports, weight lifting, golfing, and rowing, a strengthening program for the wrist and forearm, prior to starting activities may be useful. Patients can return to activities once they have relief of symptoms including pain free full movement without swelling.

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De Quervains Tenosynovitis Surgery

In this post, well go more in-depth about what De Quervains Tenosynovitis is and what options you have for healing:

  • What is De Quervains Tenosynovitis?
  • Are there non-surgical treatments for De Quervains Tenosynovitis?
  • How do you recover from De Quervains surgery?
  • How can Michigan Surgery Specialists help?

How Soon Will I Recover

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis surgery recovery

You should be able to go home the same day.

Keep your hand raised and bandaged for 2 days.

It is important to gently exercise your fingers, elbow and shoulder to prevent stiffness.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

For 8 in 10 people, symptoms improve quickly but your wrist and thumb may ache for a number of weeks.

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What Is The Outlook For De Quervains Tendinosis

De Quervains tendinosis usually responds very well to treatment. Many people do not need surgery. Treatment with braces, anti-inflammatory medications and rest often corrects the condition. Cases that require surgery have a high success rate. However, de Quervains tendinosis does need to be treated. If it is not treated, the condition will continue to become more severe over time.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/01/2020.


  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. De Quervains Tendinosis. Accessed 4/9/2020.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services, Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. De Quervains disease. Accessed 4/9/2020.
  • Merck Manual Professional Version. De Quervain Syndrome. Accessed 4/9/2020.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. De Quervains Tenosynovitis. Accessed 4/9/2020.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

When Is Surgical Release Done For De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

If exercises done at home increase the pain, or the pain is still there after a month, you need a doctor. A doctor makes a diagnosis by performing a simple exercise. You’ll put your thumb in the palm of your hand and make a fist. Then you’ll try to bend your wrist towards your little finger. If you’re in pain, you have De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. You’ll most likely be referred then to a hand specialist for treatment.If exercises, rest, pain medication and a splint do not work, your doctor may recommend steroid injections to reduce swelling. When traditional treatments don’t work, tendon release surgery is an option.

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How Do You Inject De Quervain’s Tendonitis


  • Wrist and hand position. Maximally abduct thumb
  • Injection site. Snuffbox at base of thumb. Between two tendons in dorsal wrist compartment 1.
  • Needle insertion. Apply antiseptic to skin
  • Warning. Do not inject directly into tendon.
  • Injection for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. The needle is placed into the first extensor compartment and directed proximally toward the radial styloid.

    Subsequently, question is, how long does it take for de Quervain to heal? It may take 6 to 12 weeks for your hand to heal completely. After you heal, you may be able to move your wrist and thumb without pain.

    Regarding this, do cortisone shots work for de Quervain’s?

    Cortisone injections can make the pain worse for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis patients. People do get pain relief from cortisone injections for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Sometimes one injection can provide months of relief. If you decide on more cortisone, you may get pain relief.

    How I cured my De Quervain’s syndrome?

    De Quervain’s tenosynovitis treatment

  • Applying heat or ice to the affected area.
  • Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
  • Avoiding activities that cause pain and swelling.
  • Wearing a splint 24 hours a day for 4 to 6 weeks to rest your thumb and wrist.
  • What Are The Symptoms Of De Quervains Tendinosis

    De Quervain

    Symptoms of de Quervains tendinosis can include:

    • Pain and tenderness along the side of the wrist on the thumb side.
    • Pain that gets worse as you use the hand and thumb.
    • Pain that appears suddenly or develops over time.
    • Pain that travels into the thumb or from the wrist to the lower arm .
    • Pain or difficulty when moving the thumb, especially when grasping or pinching objects.
    • Feeling snapping or popping sensation in the wrist when moving the thumb.

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    What Is Recovery Like Following De Quervains Tendonitis Surgery

    The time to recover from De Quervains Tendonitiss surgery is about three to five weeks for most patients. Following surgery a dressing is left on the wrist until the sutures are removed. Patients may start using their thumb immediately and will gradually gain back their range of motion and strength over the several weeks. While simple activities begin almost immediately after surgery, strenuous activities can be uncomfortable for a few weeks.

    Hand therapy exercises are often recommended to help facilitate a return of strength and range of motion. De Quervains release is a small surgery. Most patients regain their motion without needing physical therapy.

    After recovering from surgery and successfully completing their rehabilitation plan the patient should be able to use their hand normally without pain. Once completely healed, patients should be able to return to all previous daily activities without any restrictions.

    Risk Factors For De Quervain Tenosynovitis

    Although the majority of patients with de Quervain tenosynovitis are women between 30 and 50 years old, this condition can affect anyone at any age. There are several factors that can contribute to the swelling of the thumb tendons and increase the risk for developing de Quervain tenosynovitis:

    • Repetitive activities with thumb and wrist, such as wringing out clothes, hammering, skiing, knitting
    • Lifting heavy objects
    • Chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes

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    How Is De Quervains Tendinosis Diagnosed

    The test most often used to diagnose de Quervains tendinosis is the Finkelstein test. Your doctor will ask you to make a fist with your fingers wrapped over your thumb. Keeping your hand in a fist position, the wrist is moved up and down the motion of shaking someones hand. In this test, the swollen tendons are pulled through the narrowed sheath. If this movement is painful, you may have de Quervains tendinosis.

    Can De Quervains Tendinosis Be Prevented

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Is your thumb pain de Quervain’s tenosynovitis?

    After treatment, de Quervains tendinosis can be prevented by changing the activities that cause pain. Taking breaks and avoiding the actions that cause pain, can help lessen the chance of the condition happening again after treatment. It is important to follow your doctors advice on what activities aggravate the condition and what you should avoid. Limiting these activities could prevent future issues with de Quervains tendinosis.

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    How Long Is De Quervain Syndrome Surgery Recovery

    Since De Quervain syndrome surgery is an outpatient procedure, you can expect to go home the same day. Since the surgery requires opening the tissue over the swollen tendon, your thumb and wrist will likely be sore after the procedure. You might also feel some tingling and numbness near the incision. This should improve over the week, although it may take several months to go away. Your plastic surgeon will remove the stitches after about 1 to 2 weeks.

    The doctor may recommend wearing a splint for 1 to 4 weeks following the surgery. It can take 6 to 12 weeks for your hand to fully heal, after which youll be able to move your wrist and thumb without pain. How soon you return to work depends on the nature of your job. If your job involves repetitive use of your hand or wrist, heavy lifting or putting pressure on the hand or wrist, you may need to take 6 to 12 weeks off work to recover.

    Your doctor is the best person to advise on when you can return to work based on your progress. During your De Quervain syndrome surgery recovery, keep your hand elevated for 2 to 3 days and avoid activities that might strain the surgical site for 1 to 2 weeks.

    De Quervain syndrome can affect anyone, although its more common in women than men. Book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic if you suspect you may have De Quervain tendinitis.

    What Is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. The condition causes pain when you rotate your wrist, make a fist, or grasp an object. Tenosynovitis refers to the swelling of your tendons.

    Your doctor may also refer to this condition as Tenosynovitis, De Quervain, De Quervain Syndrome, or Radial Styloid Tenosynovitis. There is no known exact cause of De Quervain Tenosynovitis. Repetitive hand or wrist movements can make the condition worse.

    De Quervains Tenosynovitis affects:

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    Is Tenosynovitis A Disability

    Under Diagnostic Code 5024 for tenosynovitis, this disability will be rated on limitation of motion, as degenerative arthritis. Under the limitation of motion code for the wrist, Diagnostic Code 5215, a 10 percent disability evaluation is for assignment where palmar flexion is limited in line with the forearm.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Entree Kibbles: My Wrist Surgery for De Quervain
    • What is the likely cause of my pain?
    • What is the best treatment option for me?
    • How long before I can expect relief from my symptoms?
    • When can I return to my activity ?
    • Is it possible that my symptoms could return?
    • What kind of exercises should I do to strengthen my thumb?
    • What happens if the tendon sheath bursts?

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    Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

    About 5% of patients have nerves that are very sensitive to surgery and trauma they develop a very painful, stiff and swollen hand after the operation. The symptoms are out of proportion to the nature of the operation. At the moment, we are not sure why it happens and we cannot predict whom it will happen to. I will monitor you for this after the operation, and the treatment involves special forms of pain relief and physiotherapy. Please read more about Complex regional pain syndrome.

    De Quervains Tenosynovitis Treatment & Surgery

    De Quervains Tenosynovitis is a condition also known as radial styloid tenosynovitis and it affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. If non-surgical methods dont work to alleviate pain and tenderness in your wrist, De Quervains surgery is the next step.

    In this post, well go more in-depth about what De Quervains Tenosynovitis is and what options you have for healing:

    • What is De Quervains Tenosynovitis?
    • Are there non-surgical treatments for De Quervains Tenosynovitis?
    • How do you recover from De Quervains surgery?
    • How can Michigan Surgery Specialists help?

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    Your Recovery After Surgery

    You may drive a car at about a week, provided your wrist is comfortable and you are able to control a motor vehicle safely. Your return to work depends on your level of occupation: Office workers may need a few weeks leave from work while heavy manual labourers will more likely need about 6 weeks.

    What Is De Quervains Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain’s Surgery

    De Quervains Tenosynovitis occurs when the two tendons around the base of your thumb become swollen. This swelling can cause inflammation which then puts pressure on nearby nerves, causing pain and numbness.

    If you have severe pain in your wrist when attempting to hold or grasp anything, or make a fist, you may be suffering from De Quervains Tenosynovitis. If your work or favorite hobby requires repetitive use of your hands, you may be at risk.

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    De Quervains Tendinitis Surgery

    At Orthopedic Specialists, our specialty-trained orthopedic hand and wrist surgeons are highly skilled in performing surgery to treat De Quervains tendinitis, known as De Quervains release or De Quervains tendinitis surgery. Orthopedic Specialists’ doctors are recognized throughout the Fort Dodge area as leaders in performing specialized hand and wrist procedures. That means your surgery will be performed by a team whose extraordinary base of shared knowledge and experience is virtually unmatched.

    De Quervains tendinitis is an orthopedic condition that occurs when tendons on the thumb side of the wrist become swollen and constricted from overuse, arthritis, or sometimes, pregnancy. De Quervains tendinitis surgery involves creating a small incision on the wrist at the base of the thumb and carefully releasing the inflamed tendon sheath . Once the sheath is opened, pressure and friction on the tendons is alleviated, allowing the tendons to glide freely as the hand is used.

    De Quervains release is an outpatient procedure that requires the patient to be under a general anesthesia. This means you wont be awake for surgery and will therefore be comfortable and feel no pain. Post-surgery, the patient is typically given a local anesthetic and pain medication, is bandaged , and is able to go home the same day. Following De Quervains tendinitis surgery, hand and wrist therapy and thumb exercises are strongly encouraged to facilitate a full recovery.

    Living With De Quervains Tenosynovitis

    De Quervains tenosynovitis is a temporary condition. It generally responds well to treatment. It is important to treat de Quervains tenosynovitis. If this condition isnt treated, it can permanently limit your movement or cause the tendon sheath to burst. Once your symptoms are better, work to prevent the condition from happening again.

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    Does Mommy Wrist Ever Go Away

    Mommy thumb is a common hand and wrist condition that can happen to anyone. Its common in new parents because of changing hormones and the repetitive stress motions that come with holding and nursing a baby. In most cases, mommy thumb gets better or goes away with home treatments like pain relief and cold therapy.

    What Is A Surgical Treatment For De Quervains Tendonitis

    de Quervain

    When pain from De Quervains tendonitis persists and all conservative treatment methods have failed, it may be time to consider surgery.

    During surgery, your hand surgeon will make an incision on the wrist and use precision instruments to open the tunnel that encases the tendons to create additional room for the irritated tendons. Once the tunnel is open the pressure on the tendons is relieved. Without constant pressure the inflammation can subside.

    This is an outpatient procedure and patients typically return home in just a few hours. Once healed, full function of the hand can resume once comfort and strength levels have returned.

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