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imageWe aimed to determine whether dorsoulnar incision elevating radial flap and immobilization for the treatment of de Quervain disease have an advantage over simple midline incision and early mobilization, respectively, in terms of tendon subluxation and clinical outcomes. Forty-six patients with de Quervain disease were randomly divided into 2 groups (midline incision vs dorsoulnar incision) and 2 subgroups (immobilization vs early mobilization). Subluxation of intracompartmental tendons was measured in dynamic wrist positions at 12 and 24 weeks using ultrasonography. The DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand) and visual analog scale scores and grip and pinch strengths were evaluated. At 24 weeks, the tendons were displaced voloradially in wrist volar flexion (1.25 mm in midline incision vs 0.36 mm in dorsoulnar incision, P = 0.001), whereas the tendons were displaced dorsoulnarly in wrist extension (0.95 mm in midline incision vs 1.78 mm in dorsoulnar incision, P = 0.041). There were no significant differences in tendon displacement between early mobilization and immobilization groups. Clinical outcome measures showed no variation between the groups, and no significant correlation occurred with tendon subluxation. Dorsoulnar incision and postoperative immobilization do not have advantage over midline incision and early mobilization, respectively. However, tendon subluxation after release of the first dorsal compartment for de Quervain disease does not affect clinical outcomes.

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