Forty-three patients were reviewed between 17 and 113 months (mean of 47 months) following surgery for acquired stenosing tenosynovitis of the fingers or thumbs. 32 (60.4%) of the 53 operations were completely successful. Of the remaining 21 operations, 26% either failed to relieve all symptoms, or symptoms had recurred at review. 15 operations led to complications that bothered the patient to some extent. Three procedures resulted in significant functional deficit of the hand, two because of nerve damage and one because of stiffness following infection. The three major complications all followed operations performed by junior surgeons. The importance of an adequate trial of conservative therapy to avoid unnecessary surgery is emphasised.