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De Quervain’s Release

surgical procedure:

  • A DeQuervain’s release is a minor operative procedure that releases the sheaths surrounding the two thumb tendons at the base of the thumb
  • A small incision is made on the thumb side of the wrist
  • This procedure relieves the pressure and the friction on the tendons

what should i do after surgery?

  • Keep the incision clean and dry
  • Change the bandages as needed, especially if saturated with blood
  • Keep the fingers moving – make a gentle fist and hook fist, spread the fingers apart
  • Begin gently moving the thumb once the M.D. approves movement
  • Use your hand for light activity, as normally as possible, but respect pain
  • Once the stitches are removed, begin gently massaging the scar
  • Use a silicone based scar bandage if the scar is thick, stuck, red or painful
  • Gradually increase strength activities at 6 weeks post-surgery

post-surgical therapy

  • Cleaning and dressing of the incision until healed
  • Scar management including massage, the use of scar molds or silicone gel sheeting, ultrasound, hot packs
  • Swelling reduction techniques including instruction in elevation of the arm, compression wraps, retrograde massage, cold packs
  • Desensitization techniques if scar is sensitive
  • Active motion including tendon and nerve gliding exercises as necessary
  • Strengthening and work conditioning activities beginning at 6 weeks after surgery to tolerance

what can i expect after surgery?

  • The pain that travels or radiates up and down the arm is often relieved almost immediately. Pain becomes more centered around the surgical site while the hand is healing.
  • The surgical area of the wrist will likely be tender for 3-4 months after surgery.
  • The scar area may be sensitive for about the same length of time.
  • There will be some amount of swelling over the surgical area for months as well.