One common cause of wrist pain is de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, a condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. The condition can result from an excessive or repetitive use of the hand and wrist, particularly from activities that involve using the thumb – such as texting, typing, using a screwdriver, sewing, and knitting, just to name a few. Performing any repetitive hand movements that involve grasping, pinching, pushing, or pulling place you at an increased risk.
While de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a frustrating and painful condition, the good news is that conservative treatments are effective at improving symptoms for most patients. The first step to getting back to your normal activities pain-free is to schedule an appointment at Mirza Orthopedics, the premier orthopedic hand, wrist, elbow & shoulder center on Long Island.
Our goal is to get you back to your active life with the best results and minimal downtime. We provide personalized care using the most advanced surgical and non-surgical techniques for patients of all ages in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and beyond. Schedule an appointment using the form on this page for wrist pain relief.
What causes wrist pain (de Quervain’s tenosynovitis)?
Wrist pain from de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is caused when the sheath or tunnel that surrounds the two tendons that control the movement of the thumb becomes irritated, leading to swelling and inflammation. As a result, these two tendons are no longer able to glide smoothly through the tendon sheath and certain wrist movements and hand motions involving the thumb become painful and difficult to perform.
While most cases of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis result from repetitive stress, it is also possible that a traumatic injury to the wrist and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can lead to de Quervain’s tenosynovitis in some cases.
You may be more likely to develop wrist pain from de Quervain’s tenosynovitis if:
- You are between the ages of 30 and 50
- You are female
- You perform activities that require repetitive hand and wrist motions, particularly if your job requires this type of activity
- You experience an alteration in your hormone levels and body fluid balance, which is common during pregnancy
- You have an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- You have experienced prior wrist injuries
What are the symptoms of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis?
If you have de Quervain’s tenosynovitis you will likely experience:
- Pain and tenderness at the base of your thumb on the wrist side
- Pain that extends along the wrist and may travel up into the forearm
- Swelling at the base of the thumb
- Discomfort when moving your thumb and wrist, especially during activities that involve grasping, gripping or pinching
- The sensation of locking or catching when moving the thumb
- Pain that worsens after long periods of use
- Reduced or limited thumb movement
What does treatment for de Quervain’s disease entail?
For many patients, wrist pain caused by de Quervain’s disease can be entirely treated with conservative measures, including:
- Resting and avoiding any repetitive motions involving the thumb
- Applying ice
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications
- Wearing a splint to immobilize the thumb and wrist
- Completing strengthening exercises
- Making movement adjustments to relieve stress on your wrist
- Getting steroid injections
Surgical treatment for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is seldom necessary. But if your symptoms don’t respond to conservative treatment in six months to a year, surgery may be an option. Surgery typically involves enlarging the tendon sheath so that the tendons are able to slide through with ease.
If you are suffering from wrist pain, it’s important to see an orthopedic wrist specialist in Long Island that is experienced in treating de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Whether you recently developed symptoms of this condition or you have already tried conservative treatments without improvement, Mirza Orthopedics is here to help. We offer a wide range of options in treatment for de Quervain’s disease. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.