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DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

Understanding the Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Understanding DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

The wrist is a joint with multiple bones, tendons, and nerves that connects the arm to the hand, and each of these structures can induce pain. If you have pain over the base of the thumb and wrist, it might be due to DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis.

Causes of DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

Typically DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis is due to tendon overuse, especially with repetitive gripping of the hand and bending of the wrist. It can also occur from repetitive blows to the area, such as when bumping a volleyball with poor technique.

Symptoms of DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

  • Severe pain with gripping or squeezing activity
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising

Diagnosing DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

Typically DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis is a clinical diagnosis based on your medical history and physical examination. In-house X-rays may be needed to ensure there is not a fracture. Ultrasound can demonstrate swelling and irritation of the tendons. An MRI may also be used to assess for edema or more subtle soft tissue injury, but is usually not needed.

Treatment Options

Since overuse is typically the cause of DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis, a period of relative rest is needed to allow the tendons to heal. Additional treatment options may be layer in as needed and your degree of condition dictates, to include:

  • Ice compresses can help alleviate inflammation
  • Bracing may be needed to support the tendons, allowing them to rest and heal
  • Physical Therapy to help improve mobility and re-condition the tendons to be more resilient
  • Oral medications like NSAIDs or Steroids can help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Often a steroid injection around the tendons can quickly and effectively reduce inflammation
  • For severe cases, regenerative medicine options like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) may be used to stimulate healing using the bodies innate power to repair itself.

Our Doctor that Treats DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

Dr. Steven Papuchis

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Learn about available treatment options.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Niteesh Bharara.