De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis, also known as De Quervain's Syndrome or De Quervain's Disease, is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. It is caused by inflammation and irritation of the tendons and their sheaths in the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. These tendons are responsible for moving the thumb, allowing it to move away from the hand (abduction) and toward the palm (opposition).

 The primary causes of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis are:

 Repetitive hand and wrist movements: Activities that involve repetitive thumb and wrist movements, such as lifting heavy objects with the thumb, grasping, pinching, or wringing, can strain the tendons and lead to inflammation.

 Overuse: Engaging in repetitive activities over an extended period without adequate rest can contribute to the development of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis.

 Direct injury: A direct blow or impact to the thumb or wrist can cause inflammation of the tendons.

 The symptoms of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis typically include:


  • Pain: Pain is usually felt along the thumb side of the wrist and may extend up the forearm.
  •  Swelling: There may be swelling and tenderness over the thumb side of the wrist.

 Difficulty with thumb movements: Activities that involve grasping or pinching, such as picking up objects or turning doorknobs, may become painful and challenging.

 Crepitus: Some individuals may experience a creaking or crackling sensation when moving the thumb.

 To diagnose De Quervain's Tenosynovitis, a doctor or Hand Therapist will typically perform a physical examination of the hand and wrist, checking for tenderness, swelling, and pain with specific thumb movements. Finkelstein's test is a common diagnostic test in which the Hand therapist asks the patient to make a fist with the thumb inside the fingers and then bend the wrist towards the little finger. This maneuver can elicit pain if De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is present.

 Treatment options for De Quervain's Tenosynovitis may include:

 Rest and activity modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate the symptoms can allow the tendons to heal.

 Immobilization: Wearing a thumb splint or brace can help rest the affected tendons and reduce inflammation.

 Ice therapy: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.

 Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or NSAIDs may be recommended to alleviate pain and swelling.

 Corticosteroid injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections into the tendon sheath can provide significant relief from symptoms.


Hand therapy:  A custom-made thumb splint or Kinesio taping will rest the inflamed tendons, Specific exercises can help improve thumb strength and flexibility.

 Surgery: In severe cases where conservative treatments are not effective, a surgical procedure may be considered to release the inflamed tendons.

 If you suspect you have De Quervain's Tenosynovitis or are experiencing symptoms, it's important to seek medical evaluation and advice for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Early intervention can lead to a faster recovery and better outcomes.





De Quervain's Tenosynovitis De Quervain's Tenosynovitis