De Quervain’s Syndrome Test: What to Expect cover

De Quervain Syndrome Test: What to Expect

De Quervain’s syndrome can make it difficult to hold an object or move your wrist. If you’re worried about the condition, a doctor may need to perform a De Quervain syndrome test to diagnose the condition and formulate the best treatment plan for you. Read on for what to expect from De Quervain Syndrome test and how it is done.

What is De Quervain’s Syndrome?

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the wrist’s tendons that causes discomfort. It develops when the two tendons surrounding the base of the thumb swell. 

As a result of the swelling, the tendons’ protective sheaths become inflamed. This puts a strain on adjacent nerves, resulting in pain and numbness. This becomes glaringly apparent when you are

  • Moving your thumb
  • Curling your hand in a fist
  • Holding or gripping something
  • Rotating the wrist
  • Lifting with arms out and thumbs up 

De Quervain syndrome can be identified after a thorough physical examination by your doctor. They could also conduct a test called the Finkelstein test. De Quervain tenosynovitis is commonly diagnosed without necessarily using imaging tests like X-rays.

De Quervain Syndrome Anatomy

De Quervain Syndrome Test: The Finkelstein Test 

This test was initially described in 1930 by Dr. Harry Finkelstein. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis can be diagnosed with a simple manoeuvre performed by a medical expert. When a patient experiences pain during the De Quervain syndrome test, it helps doctors rule out other possible causes.

To do the Finkelstein test, the patient can stand or sit down.

The first step is for the patient to take a seat at the examination table. Next, the examiner will look at the patient’s hand being held in the air while the other hand is resting beside the body. Then, the examiner will instruct the patient to perform an ulnar deviation, which requires making a fist around their thumb.

In this way, the swollen tendons were put to the test by pulling them through the narrowed sheath.

Finkelstein Test Interpretation

Positive result

The examiner will try to find out if the patient is experiencing pain that travels up the inner aspect of their arm from the base of their thumb. A De Quervain’s syndrome diagnosis is indicated by a positive Finkelstein test result if the patient complains of significant pain.

Negative result

The patient does not experience any thumb-related pain travelling up the inside of the arm. 

How is De Quervain’s Syndrome Treated?

Reducing inflammation, maintaining thumb mobility, and preventing recurrence are treatment goals for de Quervain tenosynovitis. The doctor may do the following in the case of persistent pain:

  • Prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Splint the affected area
  • Administer corticosteroid injections
  • Advise avoiding activities that will cause pain and swelling.

Surgery For De Quervain’s Syndrome 

Surgical intervention for De Quervains Syndrome may be recommended in more severe cases. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, and the treatment can take around 30 minutes.

To treat De Quervain’s disease surgically, the affected tendon sheath must be cut near the site of inflammation. As a result, the wrist’s range of motion is enhanced, and strain on the tendons is reduced.

The procedure alleviates pressure and pain by increasing the size of the tunnel through which the tendons move. This procedure is also known as tendon tunnel decompression surgery.

If you’re suffering from thumb pain or haven’t responded to non-surgical De Quervain syndrome treatments, book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic. We can talk about your options and make a personalised treatment plan.

Further Reading: 

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