EBM Consult

Finkelstein Test

    • 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
    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  
    • Positive:
      • The patient states pain in tendons or radiating up inside of arm from thumb
    • Negative:
      • The patient does not feel any pain
    • Sensitivity and specificity unknown  
    • Since reliability of the test is unknown, do not rely on this test alone to exclude or diagnose De Quervain's Syndrome  
    Editors & Reviewers


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

    Last Reviewed:  September 2016

    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.