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TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute

De Quervain’s Disease

If you’re dealing with de Quervain’s disease, it can feel like a challenge just to tackle daily activities. At TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, our hand and wrist specialists understand how important it is to get you back to living your best life – free of pain. Whether you need physical therapy, surgery or another type of treatment for de Quervain’s, we’ll make sure all of your providers stay up to date on your condition and your progress.

De Quervain’s Disease

De Quervain’s disease is a painful condition that affects the tendons of the wrist near the thumb (the radial side). This type of tendon inflammation (tenosynovitis) can make it difficult to grip objects and may reduce range of motion in the wrist. Prolonged stress on the wrist and repeated motions of the thumb can lead to de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

De Quervain’s disease causes

De Quervain’s disease is usually caused by repeated stress on the base of the thumb. New mothers who are constantly lifting an infant are especially prone to de Quervain’s disease. Other causes include:

  • Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Repetitive movements like pinching objects with the thumb while turning the wrist

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis symptoms

The most common symptoms of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis include:

  • Discomfort when pinching something between the thumb and index finger
  • Pain when twisting the wrist
  • Reduced range of motion around the thumb joint
  • Swelling on the thumb side of the wrist

De Quervain’s syndrome treatment

De Quervain’s syndrome can usually be treated with a combination of conservative treatments. These treatments can include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Ice
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest
  • Splinting
  • Steroid injections

In severe cases of de Quervain’s disease, surgery may be necessary. Tendon release surgery can help give the swollen tendon more room to move and relieve pressure on the nerves at the base of the thumb.

De Quervain’s tendinosis risk factors

Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing finger and wrist arthritis. The most common include:

  • Age—De Quervain’s is most common in people between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • Gender—Women are more likely than men to develop this syndrome.
  • Infant care—Repeatedly lifting a baby increases the risk of de Quervain’s.
  • Overuse—Certain hobbies can put repeated stress on the thumb and wrist.

De Quervain’s disease prevention

The best way to prevent de Quervain’s tendinosis is to take good care of the thumb and wrist joints by:

  • Avoiding tobacco use, as this can worsen tendon inflammation
  • Icing the thumb or wrist at the first indication of swelling
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping your blood pressure in check
  • Resting the hand after overuse or repetitive motions

Make an appointment

Wrist and thumb pain due to de Quervain’s syndrome can severely limit your ability to perform the activities you love. Get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment from one of our specialists. Learn more or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300 or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 961 HAND or 513 961 4263.

TriHealth Orthopedic and Spine Institute
TOSI: 513 246 2300
Beacon: 513 354 3700
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