What is De Quervain’s Release? 

What is De Quervain’s Release? 

De Quervain’s release is a simple surgery used to treat De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a painful condition that affects the tendon in the hand and wrist located at the base of the thumb. This condition can be caused by normal, everyday activity. It is characterized by pain, swelling, and reduced movement in the wrist and thumb. De Quervain’s release is meant to help the patient experience relief from De Quervain’s tenosynovitis and regain use of their wrist and thumb. Many people can treat this with medications, steroid injections, or physical therapy, but De Quervain’s Release has a high success rate and is a minimally invasive surgery. 

Common Causes of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s release is not needed in every case, but tenosynovitis is actually pretty common. Because it is such a small tendon in a part of the body that gets used frequently, it can be hard to tell what may be causing De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Most doctors ask about a patient’s wrist and hand movements, and their day to day activities. Some patients have a genetic disposition towards weakness in their wrists in that area, and some people have jobs or hobbies where they use the surrounding muscles more frequently. When a person is diagnosed, the doctor will usually recommend ceasing or postponing any activities like gardening, playing the piano, or playing sports like golf or racquetball. 

De Quervain’s Release Procedure 

When a patient has tried the less invasive treatments, a doctor may recommend De Quervain’s Release as an option. This surgery is relatively simple. The patient is put under a brief anesthesia. A small incision is made in the wrist, right below the thumb. The surgeon will inspect the tendon that is located there and identify where it is inflamed. They will then make an incision in the tendon sheath, which is a membrane that allows the tendon to stretch. This incision releases the tightness of the tendon, relieving the tension and allowing it to spread. This incision can be very small or large, depending on the tightness or inflammation that the surgeon sees. Then, the larger incision is closed, and a splint is placed on the hand. The patient is monitored for any adverse reactions, and then sent home. Most patients do not need to stay in the hospital overnight or even for more than a few hours after the surgery. 


Once the surgery has been completed, the patient will experience some soreness and some swelling of the hand and wrist. After a few days, most patients are almost pain-free, as the incision site is healing up. Many doctors may recommend wearing the splint for about 2-4 weeks to prevent any injuries while the tendon is healing. It depends on each person, but it can take about 6-12 weeks for a patient to heal completely from the surgery and regain ability in their hand and wrist. Most doctors will recommend and prescribe physical therapy and stretching exercises to strengthen the muscles in the hand and prevent any further strain or injury

Long-term effects of De Quervain’s Release 

This is generally known as a very effective and minimally invasive surgery. Most patients experience pain relief, minimal recovery time, and long-term improvement. There are some possible complications after surgery, but it is very rare to experience any severe problems. If a patient follows the doctor’s instructions for wound care and restricted activity, the healing process will likely be fast and painless. 

Make an Appointment 

If you are experiencing pain in the wrist or have been diagnosed with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, talk to your doctor today. Many people find surgery to be a long-lasting and effective procedure that can increase your future mobility and daily activity. Overall, taking care of your body can result in a much happier, healthier life!