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A Clinical Trial of Splinting for DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified April 2015 by Massachusetts General Hospital.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
David C. Ring, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: February 20, 2007
Last updated: April 6, 2015
Last verified: April 2015
DeQuervain's tenosynovitis is characterized by pain on the pain on the radial (thumb) side of the wrist problems with thumb function. At this point, the standard care is to change daily activities, use a thumb brace, and the possible use of painkillers. There is a difference in opinion among physical therapists about how to use the splint in the treatment of DeQuervain tenosynovitis. Some physicians tell patients to wear the brace at all times while other therapists encourage patients to exercise and use the brace as needed. Both approaches to using the splint are accepted as standard. The purpose of this study is to test and evaluate these two ways of splinting and assess which one is better for patients with DeQuervain tenosynovitis.

DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: A Clinical Trial of Full Time vs. As Needed Splint Wear for DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • DASH questionnaire [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Grip strength [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

Estimated Enrollment: 80
Study Start Date: December 2005
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Subjects who wear the splint whenever the feel the need.
Subjects who wear the splint whenever possible.

Detailed Description:

De Quervain's tenosynovitis (stenosing tenosynovitis of the first dorsal extensor compartment) is characterized by pain on the radial (thumb) side of the wrist and impairment of thumb and wrist function. Histological evaluation is consistent with a chronic rather than an acute tenosynovitis consistent with the often prolonged course of this disease.

Nonoperative treatments include modification of activities, splint immobilization, icing and anti-inflammatory medication, and corticosteroid injections. Long opponens splinting (or short arm thumb spica splinting; a splint that immobilizes the wrist and the thumb) is standard and well accepted. There is no consensus on the best protocol for use of the splint. Some authors advocate full time splinting for 4 - 6 weeks, with the rationale that tendonitis will resolve with strict rest. Other authors, perhaps aware of histological evidence that De quervain's is a chronic rather than acute inflammatory condition, feel that the splint serves merely to relieve symptoms and is best used as best suits each individual patient. To our knowledge, there are not data available regarding these disparate views.

The ultimate prognosis for recovery in the condition seems satisfying, regardless of the treatment, and spontaneous recovery is the rule. Psychological and personality factors, such as pain anxiety, catastrophizing, and depression are strongly related to upper extremity specific health status and may also influence recovery.

The primary goal of this study is to determine which protocol of splinting leads to better outcome in non-surgical treatment of DeQuervain's tenosynovitis. As a secondary goal and to generate hypotheses for later studies we would like to evaluate the influence of psychosocial factors on both objective (grip strength) and subjective (DASH questionnaire) measures of outcome.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients from the MGH Hand and Upper Extremity Service.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult patient (age 18 years or greater)
  • Physician very confident about the diagnosis of DeQuervain's tenosynovitis.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with previous history of surgical treatment for De Quervain's.
  • Skin conditions making splint wear problematic.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00438191

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: David Ring, MD, PhD Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: David C. Ring, MD, Principal Investigator; Director of Research, Hand Service, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT00438191     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2005-P-002319
Study First Received: February 20, 2007
Last Updated: April 6, 2015

Keywords provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:
DeQuervain's tenosynovitis
grip strength
DASH questionnaire

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases processed this record on April 27, 2017