Site Map

De Quervain tendinitis

Tendinopathy - De Quervain tendinitis; de Quervain tenosynovitis

Description

A tendon is thick, bendable tissue that connects muscle to bone. Two tendons run from the back of your thumb down the side of your wrist. De Quervain tendinitis is caused when these tendons are swollen and irritated.

More About Your Injury

De Quervain tendinitis can be caused by playing sports such as tennis, golf, or rowing. Constantly lifting babies and toddlers can also strain the tendons in the wrist and lead to this condition.

If you have De Quervain tendinitis, you may notice:

What to Expect

De Quervain tendinitis is usually treated with rest, splints, medicine, changes in activity, and exercise. Your doctor may also give you a shot of cortisone to help decrease pain and swelling.

If your tendinitis is chronic, you may need surgery to give the tendon more room to slide without rubbing on the tunnel wall.

Symptom Relief

Ice your wrist for 20 minutes of every hour while awake. Wrap the ice in cloth. DO NOT put ice directly on the skin because this can result in frostbite.

For pain, you can use ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or acetaminophen (Tylenol). You can buy these pain medicines at the store.

Activity

Rest your wrist. Keep your wrist from moving for at least 1 week. You can do this with a wrist splint.

Wear a wrist splint during any sports or activities that could put stress on your wrist.

Once you can move your wrist without pain, you can start light stretching to increase strength and movement.

Your provider may recommend physical therapy so that you can return to normal activity as soon as possible.

To increase strength and flexibility, do light stretching exercises. One exercise is squeezing a tennis ball.

Before and after any activity:

The best way for the tendons to heal is to stick to a care plan. The more you rest and do the exercises, the quicker your wrist will heal.

When to Call the Doctor

Follow up with your provider if:

References

O'Neill CJ. de Quervain tenosynovitis. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 28.

Swigart CR, Fishman FG. Hand and wrist pain. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Kelly and Firestein's Textbook of Rheumatology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 50.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 4/9/2018  

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2020 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.