De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Wrist pain near the base of the thumb may be tendonitis.

The tendons that extend the thumb pass through a “compartment” on the side of the wrist. If the tendons become inflamed specifically in that area where the tendons pass through the compartment it is common to develop pain with thumb and wrist motion. The diagnosis is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. The pain associated with De Quervain’s can range from moderate to debilitating.


  • Pain with thumb extension and wrist deviation.
  • Swelling in the area of tendonitis.
  • Tenderness of the tendons as they pass over the wrist.



  • Immobilizing the thumb in a spin will often improve symptoms.
  • Steroids can be injected to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Therapy is often prescribed to reduce pain and increase range of motion.
  • Surgery is an option if conservative measures fail. This procedure consists of a release of the tendon compartment resolve concern. .



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