Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finkelstein's test to diagnose DeQuervain's tenosynovitis

Pain over the thumb side of the wrist is the primary symptom of DeQuervain's tenosynovitis. It may occur "overnight" or gradually, and it may radiate into the thumb and up into the forearm. It is worse with the use of the hand and thumb, especially with any forceful grasping, pinching or twisting. Swelling over the thumb side of the wrist may be present, as well as some "snapping" when the thumb is moved. Due to the pain and swelling , there may be some decreased thumb motion.

Besides pain and swelling over the first dorsal compartment, having a positive Finkelstein's test is a good indication that the patient has the problem. In this test, the patient makes a fist with the thumb placed under the little finger and bends the wrist. The test is mildly painful to many of us, but to someone with De Quervain's stenosing tenosynovitis, it is very painful.