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De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is a painful inflammation of tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb

Characteristics/Clinical Presentation

  • The primary complaint is radial sided wrist pain that radiates up the forearm with grasping or extension of the thumb.

 

  • The pain has been described as a constant aching, burning, pulling sensation.


  • Pain is often aggravated by repetitive lifting, gripping, or twisting motions of the hand.


  • Swelling in the anatomical snuff box, tenderness at the radial styloid process, decreased CMC abduction ROM of the 1st digit, palpable thickening of the extensor sheaths of the 1st dorsal compartment and crepitus of the tendons moving from the extensor sheath may be found upon examination.


 


CAUSES

Repeating a particular motion day after day may irritate the sheath around the two tendons, causing thickening and swelling that restricts their movement.

Other causes of de Quervain's tenosynovitis include:

  • Direct injury to your wrist or tendon; scar tissue can restrict movement of the tendons
  • Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis

Risk factors for de Quervain's tenosynovitis include:

  • Age. If you're between the ages of 30 and 50, you have a higher risk of developing de Quervain's tenosynovitis than do other age groups, including children.
  • Sex. The condition is more common in women.
  • Being pregnant. The condition may be associated with pregnancy.
  • Baby care. Lifting your child repeatedly involves using your thumbs as leverage and may also be associated with the condition.
  • Jobs or hobbies that involve repetitive hand and wrist motions. These may contribute to de Quervain's tenosynovitis.


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