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De Quervain’s Tendonitis: Symptoms and Statistics
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De Quervain’s Tendonitis: Symptoms and Statistics

Temporarily losing use of a finger for any reason can be annoying; losing use of your thumb, however, is nearly debilitating. De Quervain’s Tendinitis can cause extreme discomfort and pain in the thumb and into the forearm.

How is De Quervain’s Caused?

De Quervain’s tendinitis is caused when the tendons around the base of the thumb become constricted. This constriction causes the tendons to swell, creating friction with the surrounding tissue. Over time, the tissue thickens, causing swelling in the wrist. As the passage for the tendons narrows, it becomes difficult for the tendons to move naturally, causing pain or discomfort.

Who is At Risk for De Quervain’s?

De Quervain’s is usually caused by overuse of the thumb, direct impacts on the thumb or tendons, and repetitive grasping. Women are a diagnosed with De Quervain’s a staggering eight to 10 times more often than men; De Quervain’s is also very common in pregnant women and new mothers, earning it the nickname, “Mommy’s Thumb”. Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions can also increase your risk.

What Can You Do?

If you believe you are at risk for De Quervain’s, you can try the Finkelstein test:

  • Make a fist with your thumb placed in your palm. If bending your wrist to the outside is painful, you could have De Quervain’s.

When the wrist is bent, the tendons are pulled through the sheath stretched, which if swollen, causes pain. If you suffer from tendinitis, your Renova physician may recommend treatments such as splints, steroid injections, or if necessary, surgical procedures. To start treatment for your hand pain, get in touch with one of our specialists.


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