de Quervain's Tenosynovitis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 6/12/2020

De Quervain's tenosynovitis is an inflammatory condition involving the tendons at the side of the wrist, at the base of the thumb.

Signs and symptoms of de Quervain's tenosynovitis include

  • wrist pain below the base of the thumb and
  • tenderness or swelling of the area.

Sometimes, mild redness of the area may be present.

Causes of de Quervain's tenosynovitis

Simple strain injury to the extensor pollicis longus and abductor pollicis tendons (tendinitis) that extend the thumb joint can cause de Quervain's tenosynovitis. Often, a repetitive motion injury brings on the condition. Types of strain and injuries that can cause de Quervain's tenosynovitis include lifting young children into car seats, lifting heavy grocery bags by the loops, and lifting gardening pots up and into place.

Other de quervain's tenosynovitis symptoms and signs

  • Tenderness or Swelling Below the Base of the Thumb
  • Wrist Pain Below the Base of the Thumb


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.