De Quervain disease


Chronic tenosynovitis that thickens the tendon sheaths of the abductor muscle long of the thumb and of the extensor short muscle of the thumb.

The Finkelstein test or modified Eichoff test can be used to confirm the diagnosis.


1893 – Paul Jules Tillaux described a painful crepitus sign (Aïe crépitant de Tillaux) – tenosynovitis of the adductor and the short extensor of the thumb.

1894 – Fritz de Quervain, on December 18, 1894, described tenosynovitis in Mrs. D., a 35-year-old woman who had severe pain in the extensor muscle region of the thumb, excluding tuberculosis.

It is a condition affecting the tendon sheaths of the abductor pollicis longus, and the extensor pollicis brevis. It has definite symptoms and signs. The condition may affect other extensor tendons at the wrist.” [De Quervain F. 1895]

Associated Persons

Alternative names

  • De Quervain disease
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • De Quervain’s syndrome
  • De Quervain’s tendovaginitis


  • The term “de Quervain’s tenosynovitis” may be a misnomer. In fact, de Quervain credits Emil Theodor Kocher with the first description of the disease and first surgical treatment. [PMID 9316729]


  • De Quervain F. Clinical Surgical Diagnosis for students and practitioners – 1913 [English Archive text]
  • De Quervain F. Über eine Form von chronischer Tendovaginitis. Correspondenz-Blatt für Schweizer Aerzte, Basel, 1895, 25: 389-394. [PMID 15978320]
  • De Quervain F. On a form of chronic tendovaginitis. [Translated article: Cor-Bl.f.schweiz. Aerzrte 1895:25:389-94]. J Hand Surg Br. 2005 Aug;30(4):388-91. Epub 2005 Apr 2. [PMID 15978320]
  • De Quervain F. On a form of chronic tendovaginitis by Dr. Fritz de Quervain in la Chaux-de-Fonds. 1895. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1997 Sep;26(9):641-4.[PMID 9316729]

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Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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