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De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

Dequervains Stenosing Tenosynovitis

What is Dequervain's Stenosing Tenosynovitis?

DeQuervain's stenosing tenosynovitis is a condition brought by irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. The inflammation causes the compartment around the tendon to swell and enlarge, making thumb and wrist movement painful.

How is it diagnosed?

Tenderness directly over the tendons on the thumb-side of the wrist is the most common finding. A test is generally performed in which the patient makes a fist with the fingers clasped over the thumb.

What are the causes?

The cause of DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis is an irritation of the tendons at the base of the thumb, usually caused by taking up a new, repetitive activity.

What are the treatments?

Non-operative treatments include resting the thumb and wrist by wearing a splint, oral anti-inflammatory medication and cortisone-type of steroid which is injected into the tendon compartment. The goal is to relieve the pain caused by the irritation and swelling. In some cases, simply stopping the aggravating activities may allow the symptoms to go away on their own.

When symptoms are severe or do not improve, surgery may be recommended. The surgery opens the compartment to make more room for the inflamed tendons, which breaks the vicious cycle where the tight space causes more inflammation.