De Quervain's Tendonosis

Tendinosis is a swelling of the tendons. De Quervain's tendinosis is an inflammation of the tendons that move the thumb.

Causes & Symptoms

De Quervain's tendinosis most often is caused by overuse but can also be seen with pregnancy and rheumatoid disease. It is most common in middle-aged women.

Symptoms include pain and tenderness along the thumb side of the wrist especially with forming a fist, grasping, gripping, and turning the wrist.

Evaluation & Treatment

Initial evaluation includes a medical history and physical examination. X-rays are often not needed. Specialized examination maneuvers including making a fist with the fingers closed over the thumb, and then bending the wrist toward your little finger can be done to diagnosis this further.

Most cases can be treated nonoperatively. Treatment begins with splinting, anti-inflammatories, activity modification and occasionally corticosteroid injection.

Surgical treatment is reserved for those with pain after several months of nonsurgical treatment. Outpatient surgery may be done to open the covering over the tendons. Normal use of the hand usually can be resumed once comfort and strength have returned.