De Quervain’s tendonitis or syndrome is an inflammation of the tendons running to the thumb, due to their entrapment through their passage in a tunnel or sheath situated on the lateral side of the wrist. It is the same problem caused by a conflict between tendon within the fibrous tunnel as in the trigger finger.
Unlike the trigger finger, the clinical presentation of De Quervain’s tendonitis is not a trigger or lock but often an intense and disabling pain from the edge of the wrist, near the thumb.
The first line treatment is medical, with keeping wrist and thumb at rest by wearing specific splints, prescribing anti-inflammatory medication, corticoid injections and physiotherapy sessions.
If all else fails, surgical treatment is proposed and consists in opening the tunnel on the lateral edge of the wrist to debride (clean) the thumb tendons. An immobilization splint is worn for protection and comfort after surgery for a length of 10 to 15 days.