De Quervain’s Disease

This tendon entrapment syndrome affects the tendon sheaths of two thumb muscle tendons required for the abduction (moving the thumb away from the palm) and extension of the thumb. Stabbing and throbbing pains occur when moving the thumb in these ways. Compression pain is felt along the path of the tendons and rubbing is felt when moving the thumb. This syndrome is also known as mommy thumb or mother’s wrist.

The operation is carried out under local anaesthetic using a tourniquet to obtain a bloodless field. In doing so, it is kinder on the nerve under the skin tissue which runs over the tendons on the extensor side of the thumb. This is responsible for the sensitivity on the extensor side of the thumb and index finger.

Aftercare is in the form of a stabilising bandage on the thumb. Exercising of the thumb under increased stress can begin soon after surgery. The hand is usually fit and well enough after 3 weeks.


De Quervain’s disease is a nerve entrapment syndrome.
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