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Ultrasonographic Evaluation of the Prevalence of Intracompartmental septum in de Quervain's Disease Patients
Junko Sato, MD, PhD; Yoshinori Ishii, MD, PhD; Hideo Noguchi, MD
Ishii Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Clinic, Gyoda, Saitama, Japan

Introduction: It has been reported more patients with de Quervain's disease who had undergone surgical treatment had a septated dorsal compartment than did normal cadavers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sonographically the prevalence of an intracompartmental septum in patients with de Quervain's disease, and to compare the prevalence between groups categorized by sex, age, or peripartum status.

Materials & Methods: We performed ultrasonographic examination of 112 wrists from 103 consecutive patients admitted to our clinic with de Quervain's disease over the 4-year period. The sonographic appearance of the first dorsal compartment was evaluated on transverse images. If a hypoechogenic structure was visible between the APL and EPB tendons, then we classified it as an "intracompartmental septum-like structure" (Figure 1-3). The prevalence of a septum-like structure in the first compartment was compared between men and women, between older (?40 years old) and younger (?39 years old) patients, and between pregnant or lactating women and other patients.

Results: Table 1 reports patient demographic data. There were 19 men and 44 women in the older age group, and 12 men and 28 women in the younger group. In total, The prevalence of intracompartmental septum in the patients with de Quervain's diasease was 61.6% (69/112). Of the 69 wrists with intracompartmental septum-like structure, 53 (76.8%) showed this structure completely through the level of radial styloid, and 16 (23.2%) showed it partially on the level of distal radial styloid, respectively. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of dorsal compartment septation between any two groups categorized by patients' demographics (Table 2).

Conclusions: The prevalence of intracompartmental septation in the patients with de Quervain's diasease was higher than previously reported prevalence of the cadavers and lower than that of the patients who underwent surgery. This result was consistent with the previous report that the patients with a septated dorsal compartment might be more liable to de Quervain's disease and more prone to failure of nonsurgical treatment.

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