De Quervain Tenosynovitis (Painful wrist conditions)

What is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the tendon sheath (synovium) at the base of the thumb. The tendons that move the thumb become constricted in a tight tunnel due to inflammation triggered by friction as the tendon glides along the thumb with repeated movements.

Overuse of the wrist is  the usual cause of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Nursing mothers are often affected during the time when they take close care of their infant.

The main symptom is pain over the wrist joint near the base of the thumb. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain after increased activities that involve the wrist and hand
  • Pain beginning as an aching sensation and progressing to a point when any movement of the wrist or thumb produces a sharp pain in the affected area
  • Swelling at the painful area

Treatments usually include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to relieve pain
  • Steroid injection
  • Wearing a splint to rest the area

If the symptoms persist without improvement, day surgery may be offered.

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