Most cases of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis will settle with a course of splinting and hand therapy or with a steroid injection. Occasionally the pain can persist and for these people surgery will usually completely resolve the symptoms.


De Quervain's Tenosynovitis that is persistently painful despite conservative treatment.

Preoperative Instructions

De Quervain's Release is performed as day surgery. It is usually under local anaesthetic, sometimes with additional sedation. You would not normally have to stop any regular medication prior to this minor procedure, but Dr Stewart can advise you about your specific requirements.


Surgical treatment of De Quervain’s involves releasing the involved thumb tendons from their fibrous tunnel. A small incision is made over the tendons at the side of the wrist and the fibrous tunnel, or extensor compartment, is divided.

Postoperative Instructions

A bulky bandage is placed around the hand and wrist and should stay on and dry until the first postoperative check. Additional hand therapy is not usually required after De Quervain’s surgery.


There are some nerve branches in the area that can become irritated by the surgery resulting in an uncomfortable scar. Although rare, it is possible for De Quervain’s to recur after surgery.

Treatment Alternatives

Repeated steroid injections and ongoing hand therapy are possible for people who want to avoid surgical intervention.

Related Information

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis