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De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis

Definition of De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis

It is a condition that takes place due to irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. It also results in inflammation that causes the compartment around the tendon to swell and enlarge; making thumb and wrist movement painful.

Causes of De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis

Tenderness can occur directly over the tendons on the thumb-side of the wrist. An irritation of the tendons at the base of the thumb can be the main cause of de Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis.

How to Diagnose De Quervain’s Stenosing Tonosynovitis

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

Your doctor will also perform a test called the Finkelstein test. In a Finkelstein test, you bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and bend your fingers down over your thumb. Then you bend your wrist toward your little finger. If this causes pain on the thumb side of your wrist, you likely have de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

Imaging tests, such as X-rays, generally aren’t needed to diagnose de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

Treatment of De Quervain’s Stenosing Tonosynovitis

Non-operative treatments include resting the thumb and wrist by wearing a splint, oral anti-inflammatory medication and anti-inflammtory injection which is injected into the tendon compartment. The goal is to relieve the pain and inflammation caused by the irritation and swelling. In some cases, simply stopping the aggravating activity 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.

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