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De Quervain Tenosynovitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Feb 2, 2024

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Causes Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Symptoms Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Risk Factors Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Diagnosis Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Examination

Treatment Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Medications

Interventions

Surgery

Complications Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

De Quervain Tenosynovitis

De Quervain tenosynovitis is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. If you have de Quervain tenosynovitis, you will probably experience pain when you turn your wrist, grasp something, or make a fist.

Although the exact cause of de Quervain tenosynovitis is unknown, any activity that involves repeated hand or wrist movement, such as gardening, playing golf or racket sports, or lifting a baby, may make the condition worse.


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Causes Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Tenosynovitis de Quervain affects the two tendons that go along the thumb side of the wrist. Tendons, which connect muscle to bone, are structures that resemble ropes.

Over time, repetitive usage of a particular hand motion can lead to chronic overuse and tendon-covering irritation. An inflammation of the covering could lead to thickening and swelling of the tendons. This thickening and swelling prevents the tendons from freely moving through the little tunnel that connects them to the base of the thumb.

De Quervain tenosynovitis can also occur for the following reasons:

  • Among the inflammatory types of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Accidental damage to the wrist or tendon may leave scar tissue that restricts the range of motion of the tendons
  • Retention of fluid
  • Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy

Also Read: Adult Still Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Symptoms Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

De Quervain tenosynovitis manifests as the following symptoms and indicators:

  • Pain near the base of the thumb
  • Swelling near the base of the thumb
  • Having problems utilizing the thumb and wrist to grasp or pinch objects; experiencing "sticking" or "stop-and-go" sensations when using the thumb

If the issue is not handled for a long time, the thumb, forearm, or both may become more painful. Attempting to move your thumb or wrist could make the pain worse.

Also Read: Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Risk Factors Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

Risk factors for De Quervain tenosynovitis include:

  • Age: Compared to other age groups, including youngsters, people between the ages of 30 and 50 are more likely to get de Quervain tenosynovitis.
  • Sex: The disease is more common in women.
  • Pregnancy: The disease may be associated with pregnancy.
  • Child care: The disorder has been associated with frequently using the thumbs as leverage when lifting a youngster.
  • Repetitive wrist and hand movements from their occupations or pastimes. They might contribute to the de Quervain tenosynovitis.

Also Read: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Diagnosis Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

To diagnose de Quervain tenosynovitis, your doctor will examine your hand to see if you have pain when pressure is applied to the thumb side of your wrist.

Examination

You may be asked to perform a Finkelstein test, which involves bending your fingers over your thumb and your thumb across the palm of your hand. Then, with your wrist bent, you reach for your little finger. This may cause pain on the thumb side of your wrist, indicating that you have de Quervain tenosynovitis.

De Quervain tenosynovitis is usually not diagnosed with X-rays or other imaging tests.

Reduction of inflammation, preservation of thumb range of motion, and prevention of recurrence are the objectives of treatment for de Quervain tenosynovitis.

Also Read: Herniated Disc: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Treatment Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

If you begin treatment as soon as possible, your symptoms should get better in four to six weeks. If de Quervain tenosynovitis occurs during pregnancy, the illness's symptoms often disappear around the end of the pregnancy or during the nursing phase.

Medications

To reduce pain and swelling, your doctor may suggest using over-the-counter painkillers. These include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

Your doctor may also suggest injecting corticosteroid shots into the tendon covering to reduce swelling. If treatment begins during the first six months of symptoms, the majority of individuals recover completely with corticosteroid injections, often after just one injection.

Interventions

First-line treatments for de Quervain tenosynovitis could include:

  • Using a brace or splint to immobilize the wrist and thumb and keep them in a straight position to aid in tendon recovery and reduce the need for repetitive thumb motions
  • Avoid using your thumb to pinch the wrist when swiping it side to side.
  • Applying cold to the wounded region

Additionally, you may see a physical or occupational therapist. Your therapist may assess how you utilize your wrists and give you tips on how to relax them. Your therapist can also teach you arm, hand, and wrist exercises. These exercises help build muscle strength, reduce pain, and soothe irritated tendons.

Surgery

Surgery may be recommended in more serious situations. After the surgery, there is no hospital stay required. Examining the sheath surrounding the injured tendon or tendons, the surgeon then opens it to release pressure during the procedure. As a result, the tendons are now free to move.

Your healthcare provider will talk with you about the best ways to relax, strengthen, and rehabilitate your body after surgery. After surgery, you can visit an occupational therapist or physical therapist who can teach you new strengthening exercises and help you adjust your daily schedule to prevent problems in the future. 

Also Read: Shin Splits: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Complications Of De Quervain Tenosynovitis

It may be more difficult to use the hand and wrist correctly if de Quervain tenosynovitis is left untreated. The wrist's range of motion may be lost.

Also Read: Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

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