DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

Did You Know . . .

DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis is a type of tendonitis that affects the thumb side of the wrist. It can make lifting a pot off of the stove very painful. Any wrist up-and-down motion or thumb up-and-down motion can result in pain with this type of tendonitis. The tendons function like ropes that connect muscles to bones. In De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, the tendons of the Abductor Pollicis Longus muscle and the Extensor Pollicis Brevis muscle are passing through a tunnel (the 1st Dorsal Extensor Compartment). These tendons can be trapped in a tunnel that has narrowed or be trapped because the lining around the tendon has thickened. Thus, movement within the tunnel is painful. This can be caused by overuse, a bad sprain, hormone changes, etc . . . This condition can be treated without surgery using NSAID’s, a thumb immobilizing splint, and often a steroid injection in the tendon sheath. Should the conservative measures fail, a surgery to open the tendon sheath will give the tendons more space to glide through during movement, and this should resolve the pain.  

Content provided by Dr. Alexander Majors. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Majors at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics' Herndon Campus, please call (559) 256-1639.