Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android. Learn more here!

Condition/Disorder Synonyms

  • Washer woman's sprain
  • Radial styloid tenosynovitis
  • DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis
  • De Quervain disease
  • De Quervain's tenosynovitis
  • De Quervain's stenosing tenosynovitis
  • Mother's wrist
  • Mommy thumb

ICD-9-CM Code

  • 727.04 Radial styloid tenosynovitis

ICD-10-CM Code

  • M65.4 Radial styloid tenosynovitis [de Quervain]

Preferred Practice Pattern

Key Features


  • Inflammation and thickening of the abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis synovial tendon sheaths and extensor retinaculum2
  • Named after Swiss surgeon, Fritz de Quervain

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Tenderness with palpation
  • Positive resisted isometric test in thumb abduction and extension
  • Finkelstein’s test is best for diagnosis

General Considerations

  • Entrapment tendonitis, tendon friction
  • Often a direct result of repetitive stress or chronic overuse of extensor and abductor muscles causing excessive friction to tendon sheath
  • Patients likely to develop adhesions and irritation between tendons and their sheaths


  • Mostly found in women aged 30 to 50 years, possibly due to great angle of the styloid process
  • Common among individuals who perform any activity requiring repetitive hand and wrist movement
  • At-risk populations include
    • Massage therapists
    • Musicians
    • Milliners
    • Gardeners
    • Office workers
    • Pregnant and postpartum women

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms

  • Forearm pain
  • Crepitus of tendons within the extensor sheath
  • Unilateral palmer pain and swelling
  • Tendon friction rub
  • Upper-extremity pain
  • Weak thumb abduction
  • Decreased grip strength
  • Wrist pain and swelling
  • Decreased abduction ROM of the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint, thumb
  • Pain with thumb activity, worsens when combined with wrist radial or ulnar deviation

Functional Implications

  • Pain with pinching, grasping, squeezing, holding heavy objects, wringing
  • Pain with movements of hand and wrist
  • Loss of strength
  • Tendon rupture

Possible Contributing Causes

  • Occupations that require repetitive use of hands for excessive periods of time
  • A direct trauma to the tendon or wrist
  • Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis

Differential Diagnosis

Means of Confirmation or Diagnosis


  • X-ray to rule out arthritis at thumb CMC joint

Diagnostic Procedures




Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.