Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


I'm going to have surgery to repair a problem in my thumb called de Quervain disease. What do they do exactly?


Every surgery and every surgeon is slightly different so it's always best to ask your surgeon this very question. Surgery for de Quervain disease is usually done to free up two tendons in the wrist and thumb area.

The abductor pollicis longus (APL) and the extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) can become inflammed and scarred down with fibrotic tissue in de Quervain disease. The surgeon will make an incision in the skin to get to the tendons. Each tendon will be carefully cut loose from anything keeping it from moving smoothly and freely.

If there is nerve pain or numbness and tingling, the surgeon might cut or apply heat to the nerve. This will stop the nerve from sending painful messages to the brain. It won't affect the muscle's power or function.

Costantino Rossi, MD, et al. De Quervain Disease in Volleyball Players. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. March 2005. Vol. 33. No. 3. Pp. 424-427.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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