De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Understanding De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is more than just a mouthful to pronounce! It is a painful condition that can happen to the tendons in your wrist that exist near your thumb. You may find that your wrist area hurts when you make a fist, pick up anything, or even just try to move it.

Activities that put repetitive strain on this area (such as playing golf, lifting heavy bags, or maintaining a garden) are likely to lead to de Quervain's tenosynovitis.

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One of the easiest ways to self-diagnose de Quervain's tenosynovitis is by assessing the pain near the thumb’s base. You might also have swelling or mobility problems in this area. You may have both or just one of these symptoms. It is best to reach out to an orthopedic surgeon to be properly assessed.

Causes and Risk Factors

The main reason that you might end up with de Quervain's tenosynovitis is that you are overusing your wrist. Any time you grasp, pick up, pinch, or grip an item, you’re forcing the tendons in your wrist to move. The constant movement of your tendons can result in inflammation and irritation in the area, which can then prevent the tendons from moving as fluidly as they need to.

Additionally, if you’ve suffered from an injury in your wrist, or if you suffer from arthritis, you might be more likely to experience de Quervain's tenosynovitis. There are also other risk factors associated with de Quervain's tenosynovitis, including pregnancy, female, ages 30-50, constant lifting of heavy objects, and working at a job that requires repetitive gripping, grasping, pulling, and pinching motion.

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Luckily, there are procedures in place for treating de Quervain's tenosynovitis. The purpose of any de Quervain's tenosynovitis treatment is to work on reducing the inflammation and irritation that the tendons in your wrist are suffering from. If you catch this condition early enough and follow your doctor’s treatment plans, you can potentially enjoy a full recovery!

Your doctor may also recommend medicines to deal with the pain and inflammation, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy. In severe cases that do not respond to non-surgical treatment options, surgery may be recommended.


When it comes to de Quervain's tenosynovitis, your largest indicator will be that there is a pain in the lower area of your thumb and your wrist. If you are suffering from these symptoms, give us a call! We have a team of orthopedic specialists who are knowledgeable in this area, and can get you on the road to recovery!

Additional Resources

De Quervain's tenosynovitis- Mayo Clinic

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