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In de Quervain's disease, the sheath containing extensor pollicis brevis and
abductor pollicis longus tendons becomes thickened and inflamed.
- De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a stenosing tenosynovitis of the first extensor
compartment of the wrist and leads to pain on the radial (thumb) side of the
wrist and impaired function of the wrist and hand
- condition is colloquially termed 'washerwoman's thumb' due to the high
incidence seen in women who wash clothes by the traditional hand method
- occurs commonly in women and usually affects 30-50-year-olds
- occurs as the tendon sheath containing the extensor pollicis brevis
and abductor pollicis longus becomes thickened and inflamed
- patient presents with pain, tenderness and swelling over the radial
side of the wrist and difficulty gripping
- (1) Arthritis Research UK (April 2013). The upper limb in primary care.
Part 2: Wrist, hand. Hands On 2(7).
Last reviewed 01/2018