De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
De Quervain tenosynovitis is an irritation of tendons that run from the wrist to the thumb. These tendons pass through a tunnel-like tissue, called a sheath, at the wrist. The tunnel area can cause additional pressure and irritation on thickened or swollen tendons, making normal movements painful.
|De Quervain Tenosynovitis|
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De Quervain tenosynovitis is more common in women. Activities that may increase your chance of getting de Quervain tenosynovitis include:
- Knitting and needlepoint
- Lifting a baby or young child often
- Bowling or wrestling
- Jobs involving twisting of the wrist or driving of screws
- Excessive gaming that involves small movements of the thumb or texting
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You will be asked to move your fingers and wrists in different ways to help make the diagnosis. Your may be asked to make a fist with your thumb inside your fingers and bend your wrist toward your little finger. If this causes pain at the wrist below your thumb, you may have de Quervain tenosynovitis.
The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and help you regain function. Supportive care may include:
- Restricting activities of the thumb and wrist
- Ice therapy to help relieve swelling
- A thumb splint to support and allow the wrist to rest
- Medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
If supportive care is not helpful, then cortisone injections may be advised to reduce swelling. If injections are not helpful, then surgery may be advised to open the tunnel that the tendon passes through.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (De Quervain Syndrome; De Quervain Disease; Washerwoman’s Sprain)
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OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
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