deQuervain’s tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb which causes many common wrist and thumb movements to be painful.
Symptoms of deQuervain's Tendonitis
Early symptoms of this condition include mild to moderate localized pain, swelling, and tenderness on the thumb side of the wrist. Gripping and pinching becomes painful. Left untreated, this pain may expand out from the wrist further into the thumb, up the forearm, and deeper into the wrist.
Causes of deQuervain's Tendonitis
Like many tendon related conditions, deQuervain’s Tenosynovitis is usually caused by excessive repetitive use, stress and pressure on the affected area. Repeated gripping and pinching which involves the thumb can result in inflammation and pain. Previous wrist injuries including fractures and rheumatoid arthritis can also be associated with deQuervain’s tendonitis.
Your Treatment Options
Treating deQuervain’s tendonitis usually involves trying to reduce the inflammation associated with the condition. By working with a certified hand therapist, you can identify and reduce repetitive motions with your thumb, which is often a significant contributor to the symptoms of deQuervain’s. Your hand therapist may also design a splint for you to wear at night. When symptoms are severe and don’t improve, your hand surgeon may recommend a steroid shot to improve swelling. Your hand surgeon may also recommend surgical intervention if the symptoms of deQuervain's don't improve after other treatment options have been exhasuted. During surgery, the inflammed sheath surrounding the affected tendons will be released to decompress the affected tendons. Surgical intervention is often very effective in treating deQuervain’s tendonitis and normal use of the hand can usually be resumed once comfort and strength have returned.