De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis Treatment

Cortisone Injection

Cortisone injections can be used to treat the inflammation of small areas of the body (local injections), or they can be used to treat inflammation that is widespread throughout the body (systemic injections). Examples of conditions for which local cortisone injections are used include inflammation of a bursa (bursitis of the hip, knee, elbow, or shoulder), a tendon (tendinitis such as tennis elbow), and a joint (arthritis). Knee osteoarthritis, hip bursitis, painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, frozen shoulder, and many other conditions may be treated with cortisone injections. Certain skin disorders, such as alopecia (a specific type of hair loss), can be treated with cortisone injections.

What is de Quervain's tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's tenosynovitis is inflammation of tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. These tendons include the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus tendons, which extend the joints of the thumb.

What are causes and risk factors of de Quervain's tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's tenosynovitis can be brought on by simple strain injury to the extensor pollicis longus and abductor pollicis tendons (tendinitis). Often this form of tendinitis is a result of repetitive motion injury. Typical causes of de Quervain's tenosynovitis include stresses such as lifting young children into car seats, lifting heavy grocery bags by the loops, and lifting gardening pots up and into place.

Risk factors for de Quervain's tenosynovitis include the following:

  • Being female
  • Age over 40
  • African ethnicity/descent
  • Pregnancy

What are signs and symptoms of de Quervain's tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's tenosynovitis causes symptoms of pain and tenderness at the side of the wrist beneath the base of the thumb. Sometimes there is slight swelling and redness in the area.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/10/2016

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