Chronic Wrist Pain? It Could Be De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

Chronic Wrist Pain? It Could Be De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

Wrist pain can be a simple symptom of daily life, but that’s not always the case. And wrist pain that doesn’t go away is cause for concern. 

You should never ignore chronic pain, especially when you have access to our team of experts at Carl N. Williams, Jr. M.D. Hand and Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada. In this blog, we explain de Quervain's tenosynovitis — a potentially serious cause of chronic wrist pain. 

About de Quervain's tenosynovitis 

Your wrist is one of the most flexible parts of your body thanks to a system of muscles and connective tissues that support its structure and give it range of motion. Because it's so limber, however, your wrist is vulnerable to a wide range of pain conditions, including wrist tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

De Quervain's tenosynovitis affects the two tendons that run along the thumb side of your wrist. Tendons are tough, ropelike structures that bind your muscles to your bones. 

Although various theories exist about what causes de Quervain tenosynovitis, most blame activities that involve repetitive hand or wrist movements, including gardening, playing golf, or lifting a baby. If you notice pain when you make a fist or grasp items, this condition may be behind your pain.

Overusing your wrist leads to irritation and inflammation in the covering, or sheath, around your tendons. As the sheath becomes irritated, your tendons thicken and swell, causing restricted movement, pain, and swelling. 

In addition to overuse, there are several risk factors that increase your risk for de Quervain's tenosynovitis, including

You may be tempted to write off the pain and symptoms as the aches of daily life, but ignoring a condition like de Quervain's tenosynovitis could lead to widespread pain and long-term problems moving your hand and wrist properly. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, schedule an appointment at Carl N. Williams, Jr. M.D. Hand and Plastic Surgery.

Diagnosing de Quervain's tenosynovitis

Wrist pain can come from almost anywhere. Dr. Williams takes the diagnosis process seriously and performs a series of tests and evaluations to uncover what’s going on below the surface. 

For example, with the Finkelstein test, you bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and bend your fingers over your thumb. If these movements are difficult and painful, it can point to de Quervain's tenosynovitis. 

Treating de Quervain's tenosynovitis

The main goal of early treatment is to reduce inflammation. In many cases, medications, immobilization, and gentle therapy are enough to bring swelling down and restore function. However, there are times when hand surgery is the best course of action. 

Dr. Williams uses the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques to address de Quervain's tenosynovitis. During the procedure, he inspects the sheath surrounding a tendon and then opens the sheath to release pressure and allow your tendons to move freely. 

After your procedure, we recommend you follow these steps to keep your wrist healthy:

To learn more about chronic wrist pain and how hand surgery works for de Quervain's tenosynovitis, schedule an appointment online or over the phone with Carl N. Williams, Jr. M.D. Hand and Plastic Surgery today.

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