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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some aspects of “Dequervain’s disease” with homoepathic mode of treatment

It is a stenosing tenovaginitis of the tendons in thumb.

Sex- Women are more prone to this disease compared to men.

Age- Mostly found between ages of 30 & 50 years but anyone at any age can get it.

Aetiology-Exact cause is not known. It may be due to repeated overuse of the wrist. A direct blow to the thumb, & certain inflammatory conditions can trigger the disease.

Associated medical conditions- Pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Pathophysiology-There is apparently spontaneous thickening of the common sheath of abductor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis tendons at the wrist & the consequent result is the entrapment of the tendon. The swollen tendons & their coverings rub against the narrow tunnel through which they pass. The result is pain at base of the thumb.

Clinical features- Presentation may be gradual or sudden. Pain along back of the thumb is the most common symptom. Thumb motion may be difficult & painful, particularly when grasping objects. There may be tenderness & swelling over the thumb side of wrist. Pain may be raised with movements of the thumb & wrist. Tenderness can be elicited by sudden ulnar deviation of the flexed hand. It is the surest sign for diagnosis of Dequervain’s disease & is known as Finkelstein’s test.

Investigations- No X-rays or laboratory investigations are usually needed for its diagnosis. But blood sugar examination to rule out diabetes mellitus & other investigations to see the presence of associated medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis etc or any other pathology causing the symptoms are to be done.

Differential Diagnosis- Dequervain’s disease is to be differentiated from osteoarthritis of 1st carpo-metacarpal joint, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Intersection Syndrome etc.


[A] General measures to be taken are- Besides treatment of the associated medical conditions, if any the following should be done-
(1) Rest.
(2) Limitation of activities that aggravate the condition.
(3) Occasionally a splint on the affected hand to restrict the joint movement.
(4) Exercise.

[B] Homeopathic medicines to be used – Ruta Graveolens (Ruta) & Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox), can be very effectively used as its remedy. The potency & frequency of dosage as well as duration of treatment varies with the severity of the condition & the individual.

Prevention- Prevention consists of avoidance of excessive movements such as hand & wrist twisting, pinching & forceful gripping.

Prognosis- Majority respond well with treatment if started early.

In short, Dequervain’s disease is a stenosing tenovaginitis which is manifested as pain, tenderness & swelling over the thumb side of wrist & is treated by Ruta & Rhus tox.

But in every case, a doctor should be consulted.

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