Finkelstein’s Test


Patient Position

  • Seated or standing
  • Elbow flexed to 90° and the forearm in the neutral position

Procedure Steps

  • Instruct the patient to make a fist with their thumb covered-up inside.
  • Examiner gently moves the hand/wrist into ulnar deviation.

Positive Sign / Significance

  • Sharp pain at the distal radial wrist = De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Note:  May be uncomfortable/painful on the asymptomatic side too.  Compare the pain on the suspected side to the asymptomatic side.  If equally painful, Finkelstein’s test is NOT considered positive.


  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the tendon sheath around the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) tendons.
  • For excellent information on the injection technique for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, go HERE.
  • De Quervain syndrome is also called, gamer’s thumb, radial styloid tenosynovitis, De Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis.


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