De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. When conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgery may be recommended to alleviate the symptoms and improve hand function. The surgical procedure commonly performed for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is called De Quervain’s release or De Quervain’s tenosynovectomy. Here’s an overview of the surgery:

1. Incision:

The surgeon makes a small incision along the thumb side of the wrist, typically around the base of the thumb or along the side of the wrist. The incision is designed to provide access to the affected tendons and the synovial sheath that covers them.

2. Identification and Release:

The surgeon identifies the inflamed tendons, usually the abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevis tendons. These tendons pass through a tunnel called the first dorsal compartment at the wrist. The surgeon carefully releases the constricted synovial sheath or any adhesions that are causing irritation and inflammation of the tendons.

3. Closure:

Once the necessary release is performed, the surgeon closes the incision with sutures or surgical staples and applies a sterile dressing.

4. Postoperative Care:

After the surgery, the hand and wrist may be immobilized with a splint or bandage for a period of time to promote healing and protect the surgical site. The surgeon may provide specific instructions regarding hand and wrist use, wound care, and the duration of immobilization.

Recovery and rehabilitation following De Quervain’s release surgery vary depending on individual factors, such as the extent of the condition, the surgical technique used, and the patient’s healing response. Physical therapy or hand exercises may be prescribed to improve strength, range of motion, and functional recovery.

It’s important to note that, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications associated with De Quervain’s release surgery. These may include infection, scarring, nerve or blood vessel injury, persistent symptoms, or the need for additional treatment. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you and provide specific instructions for a successful recovery.

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis that do not respond to conservative treatments, it is recommended to consult with an orthopedic specialist or a hand surgeon. They can evaluate your condition, confirm the diagnosis, and discuss the benefits and risks of surgery based on your specific case. At Alabama Bone and Joint Clinic our specialists are able to guide you through your treatment options. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts in orthopedic care.