De Quervain's tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the two tendons that run from the back of thumb and down the side of the wrist. The causes of De Quervain's tenosynovitis are unknown, but it has been linked to wrist injury, overuse/repetitive motion, pregnancy and inflammatory arthritis. It is much more common in women than in men, and in people who have diabetes or arthritis. The disease was first identified in 1895 by Fritz de Quervain, after whom it is named.
Symptoms of de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
De Quervain's causes pain, swelling and tenderness over the thumb side of the wrist, and makes gripping difficult. The index finger and the back of the thumb can feel numb, and moving the wrist or thumb can cause a squeaking or creaking sound. It is also possible for a small bump to form on the thumb side of the wrist. If left untreated, de Quervain's can get worse, with pain spreading up the forearm or down to the thumb.
Treatment of de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
De Quervain's tenosynovitis can be diagnosed through the Finkelstein test, in which the patient makes a fist with the thumb tucked inside, and then bends the wrist toward the pinky finger. If the patient feels pain on the thumb side of the wrist, de Quervain's is likely the cause. Treatment for de Quervain's tenosynovitis focuses on relieving pain and minimizing swelling through the use of anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroids, splints and rest. Surgery to make more room for the irritated tendons may be recommended in severe cases.