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Finkelstein Test

    Purpose
    • To assess for the presence of De Quervain's tenosynovitis of the:

      • Abductor pollicis longus tendon
      • Extensor pollicis brevis tendon
    • Note: These two tendons are from the first dorsal compartment of the forearm
    Technique
    1. Have the patient sit comfortable and relaxed in chair or on exam table
    2. The patient actively (or with active assist) flexes thumb maximally then wraps the other fingers around the thumb to make a fist
    3. Deviate the wrist to the ulnar side (down towards the side of the little finger) which stretches the muscles of the 1st extensor compartment  
    Results
    • Positive:
      • The patient states pain in tendons or radiating up inside of arm from thumb
    • Negative:
      • The patient does not feel any pain
    Reliability
    • Sensitivity and specificity unknown  
    Pearls
    • Since reliability of the test is unknown, do not rely on this test alone to exclude or diagnose De Quervain's Syndrome  
    Editors & Reviewers

    Editor:

    • Anthony J. Busti, MD, PharmD, FNLA, FAHA

    Last Reviewed:  September 2016

    References
    1. Bickley LS et al. Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2013; 633.
    2. Orient, JM. Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2010; 509.