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Snapping thumb: a rare case of stenosing tenosynovitis of the extensor pollicis longus tendon
  1. Andrea Lund,
  2. Pelle Hanberg,
  3. Anders Ditlev Foldager-Jensen and
  4. Maiken Stilling
  1. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrea Lund; andrea2290{at}


Tenosynovitis of the extensor pollicis longus (EPL) is rarely reported in patients without rheumatoid arthritis but may lead to thumb snapping as a consequence of EPL stenosing tenosynovitis.

This case presents painful thumb snapping that developed after a wrist trauma and repetitive loading. Ultrasound and MRI were used as diagnostic tools, before surgical release of the EPL in the third extensor compartment was performed. Neither EPL tenosynovitis nor thumb snapping were found at follow-up.

  • musculoskeletal and joint disorders
  • orthopaedics
  • tendonopathies

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  • Contributors Idea for the article: MS. Literature search: AL, PH, ADF-J, MS. First draft of the manuscript: AL. Critical revision of the manuscript: PH, MS, ADF-J. Guarantor: AL, PH, ADF-J and MS. Final acceptance of the manuscript and submission: AL, PH, ADF-J and MS.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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