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April 1960

Traumatic Tendovaginitis of the Fifth Dorsal Compartment of the Wrist

Author Affiliations

Santa Barbara, Calif.
From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Sansum Medical Clinic.

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(4):554-556. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290210022004

Disability of the hand and wrist occurs quite frequently after injury to the wrist. Although several causes have been listed in the literature, lack of return to normal function because of tendovaginitis involving the fifth dorsal compartment of the wrist has not been generally recognized and rarely has been reported in the literature. During the past 11 years, tendovaginitis involving the fifth dorsal compartment of the wrist, through which courses the extensor digiti quinti proprius tendon, has been diagnosed as a complication of approximately 5% of fractures and injuries in the wrist joint in adults. It has never been found in children or young adults up to the second decade of life. Perhaps, the commonest precipitating cause has been a simple Colles fracture.

The entity apparently causes little or no problem as long as the wrist remains immobilized in plaster. Symptoms and signs pointing to the presence of this condition

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