De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

In the layman terminology, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is known as the washer woman’s wrist. That’s because this painful condition of the wrist is caused by repetitive twisting movements as in washing clothes. The radial or the thumb side of the wrist is affected. Moving the thumb and the wrist becomes painful.

What causes this condition?

In De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, the tendons at the radial border of the wrist undergo wear and tear, causing scar tissue to form. This scar tissue limits the mobility of the joints and makes it difficult to perform certain actions such as pinching, twisting and grasping an object.

There are plenty of reasons why DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis can come about. The most common cause of this condition is the overuse of the muscles. This chronic use is more common in women.

Other underlying causes of this type of inflammation are autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

How is it treated?

If the condition is diagnosed at an early stage, the damage is usually reversible with the use of NSAID for about a month.

However, if the inflammation is prolonged or if there is a recurrence of the inflammation, then other treatment modalities are employed. A steroid injection will usually suffice in patients with less than 6 months of history of the symptoms.

Surgery is the gold standard option in recurrent cases. Surgical decompression of the tendon sheath involved is the method of choice. Recovery is rapid, and the procedure is short and comfortable for the patient.

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