De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a common condition in which the sheath containing the extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus tendons is inflamed. It typically affects females aged 30 - 50 years old.


  • Incidence: 300.00 cases per 100,000 person-years
  • Peak incidence: 50-60 years
  • Sex ratio: more common in females 3:1
<1 1-5 6+ 16+ 30+ 40+ 50+ 60+ 70+ 80+

Clinical features

  • pain on the radial side of the wrist
  • tenderness over the radial styloid process
  • abduction of the thumb against resistance is painful
  • Finkelstein's test: with the thumb is flexed across the palm of the hand, pain is reproduced by movement of the wrist into flexion and ulnar deviation


  • analgesia
  • steroid injection
  • immobilisation with a thumb splint (spica) may be effective
  • surgical treatment is sometimes required