De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis


De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus tendons, which are located on the thumb side of the wrist. This condition is characterized by pain and swelling at the base of the thumb, especially when grasping or pinching. The source of de quervain’s tenosynovitis varies but it is commonly caused by the overuse of the wrist when making regular gripping or pinching motions, causing the sheath surrounding the affected tendons to become agitated and swollen, thereby restricting motion. It can also be caused by a direct shock to the thumb or inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Although it can be a painful condition limiting an individuals’ ability to perform regular activities, Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offers a variety of effective treatment options.

Treatment Options:


Bracing for de quervain’s tenosynovitis is used to immobilize the wrist and thumb for an extended period of time to allow the tendons to rest and recover.


Cortisone is often a permanent solution used for de quervain’s tenosynovitis as it relieves the tendon thickening, inflammation, and pain caused by this condition. It may be followed by bracing, icing and physical therapy to accelerate the recovery time.

Physical Therapy

Light physical therapy in conjunction with the application of ice to reduce inflammation may be utilized. Exercises to strengthen the wrist will be gradually introduced following the reduction of inflammation by other means.


Surgery is a last resort treatment option, when all other options have been exhausted. Surgical tendon release is an effective surgery performed on the first dorsal compartment of the wrist that has potential to give permanent relief.  Like all procedures performed by Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, it is outpatient, and has a very low risk of complications occurring.

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