Handcare.org is a patient resource created by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the oldest and most prestigious medical specialty society dedicated to the hand, wrist, arm and shoulder.
Follow these steps to find one of more than 3,500 surgeon members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand:
Visit a hand surgeon for treatment of the fingers, hand, arm and shoulder. Learn more about hand surgeons and common conditions of the upper extremity at www.handcare.org.
Dr. Carl B. Weiss, an orthopaedic surgeon, answers your questions about de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.
Q: What is de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?
A: De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a condition caused by entrapment of some of the tendons going to your thumb. These tendons, called the abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevis, go through a snug tunnel at the wrist, called the first dorsal extensor compartment. You can see the tendons on the back of your hand when you straighten your fingers. When, for whatever reason, the tunnel becomes too tight, it sets up a vicious cycle; whenever you move your thumb in certain ways, it pulls the tendons through the tight tunnel, causing pain and further aggravating the condition.
Q: How is the diagnosis made?
A: A hand surgeon can help determine if you have de Quervain’s. If you have tenderness over the tendons and pain when you make a fist with your thumb tucked inside and bend the wrist with the pinkie facing down (see image), then you have what is known as a positive Finkelstein’s sign, which would indicate that you likely have de Quervain’s. However, there are other causes of pain in this area, such as arthritis in the joint at the base of your thumb, which can feel similar to de Quervain’s. Therefore, x-rays may be used to help make the diagnosis. A hand surgeon can distinguish between these conditions, though it is quite possible that a patient has both.
Animal bites of the hand are more likely to become infected than other parts of the body. Spot an infection – which can result in surgeries, amputations or even death – by watching for these signs:
Reduce your risk of infection by visiting a doctor immediately after an animal bite, regardless of whether you are experiencing any problematic symptoms. Dog and cat bites are the most common animal bites. Learning how to prevent and treat these injuries is important. Here are some tips: