If non-surgical treatments do not help relieve pain and swelling, surgery may be recommended.
Surgery for de Quervain’s tendinosis is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. During the surgery, a tiny cut is made in the sheath through which the tendons pass. Cutting the sheath allows more room for the tendons to slide more easily through the sheath. The goal of this surgery is to eliminate pain and swelling and restore the range of motion to the thumb and wrist.
Upon recovery, your physician will recommend an exercise program to strengthen your thumb and wrist. Recovery times vary, depending on your age, general health, and how long the symptoms have been present.
In cases that have developed gradually, the tendinosis is usually more difficult to manage. It may take longer for symptoms to disappear and for the thumb and wrist to regain their range of motion.