DeQuervain syndrome

DeQuervain syndrome

Tendinosis of the sheath on the wrist

What is this?

DeQuervain syndrome is the thickening of tendons on the wrist in line with the thumb and the inflammatory restriction of the sheath.
Tendons get thicker so it is harder for them to slide in the sheath surrounding them. The wrist feels painful and sensitive to pressure and swollen in line with the thumb. Symptoms arise in certain movements (e.g. clenching fist, shaking hands, holding things, turning and twisting the wrist).


The aim of the treatment is to make the pain and the inflamed restriction disappear. The doctor may suggest resting the thumb with the help of a special splinting device for 3-6 weeks. Antiphlogistic medication or an injection into the sheath may reduce the inflammation and the pain. In certain cases stopping everyday activities that strain the hand can also help. If the symptoms increase or do not improve through this treatment then surgery is recommended.
Surgery is usually performed as a one day procedure with local or upper arm anaesthesia. During the surgery, sheaths surrounding the tendons are opened. After the surgery the wrist should be rested for 2-3 weeks or may be fastened. Then the wrist and the fingers can be gradually used until normal activities can be resumed.
Your hand surgeon will inform you about the best possible procedure for you.