Review of De Quervain's tendinopathy


  • María A. Lastra Santiago Department of Surgery, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad Hospital de Especialidades Centro Médico Nacional de Occidente, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
  • Gustavo E. Muñoz Delgado Department of Surgery, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad Hospital de Especialidades Centro Médico Nacional de Occidente, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico



De Quervain's tendinopathy, Plastic surgery, Hand


The tendons of the long thumb abductor (APL) and short thumb extensor (EPB), which travel through a fibroosseous tunnel in the styloid process of the radius, are afflicted by De Quervain's tendinopathy. This condition causes the tendons and the tunnel (or sheath) through which they pass to thicken non-inflammatorily. Individuals with this illness report radial side wrist discomfort that gets worse when the wrist and thumb are moved. The radial side of the wrist often has some swelling and discomfort. The physical examination findings, such as sensitivity and enlargement of the radial styloid in the first dorsal compartment and radial styloid pain with active or passive stretching of the thumb tendons over the radial styloids at thumb flexion, are used to make the diagnosis of de Quervain's tendinopathy (Finkelstein manoeuvre or test). The differential diagnosis includes calcified arthritis or tenosynovitis, intersection syndrome, ganglia, radial sensory nerve entrapment in the forearm, and osteoarthritis of the trapeziometacarpal joint (TMC). De Quervain's tendinopathy typically responds well to self-limiting therapies that alleviate symptoms. The patient's unique values and preferences have a significant role in the therapeutic decision. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) for pain management, a forearm-based thumb splint, glucocorticoid injections, and surgery are all possible treatments. A forearm-based thumb splint with a free interphalangeal joint and a simultaneous NSAID pain reduction test are advised for individuals with de Quervain's tendinopathy. Patients with chronic pain and edema despite non-surgical therapy with splints and NSAIDs are advised to have glucocorticoid injections. Those who continue to experience symptoms despite nonsurgical treatment and glucocorticoid injection are typically the only ones who need surgery. De Quervain's tendinopathy is benign and self-limiting, therefore most patients are aware of this.


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