This outpatient procedure relieves the symptoms of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis by releasing the tendon sheath that wraps around the tendons at the base of the thumb. This relieves pressure and friction on the tendons, allowing them to glide freely.



The patient is positioned, anesthesia is administered, and the hand and wrist are cleansed and sterilized. The surgeon creates a small incision on the wrist at the base of the thumb to access the inflamed tendons.

Opening the Sheath

The surgeon carefully releases the inflamed sheath surrounding the tendon, allowing it to spread open. In many cases, a second sheath is found inside the first. It is released as well. The surgeon may also remove any thickened tissue found between the tendons. Creating more space for the tendons relieves painful pressure and eliminates the friction that can occur as the hand is used.

End of Procedure

The incision is closed, and a local anesthetic may be injected for post surgical pain relief. The wrist is bandaged, and a splint may be applied. The patient is given pain medication and is able to go home the same day. Thumb motion is usually encouraged after surgery.