De Quervains Release
De Quervains tenosynovitis is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the side of the wrist. De Quervains release is an outpatient procedure that will relieve symptoms of De Quervains tenosynovitis. In this article, you will learn about the causes and symptoms of De Quervains tenosynovitis, how De Quervains tenosynovitis is diagnosed and treated, specifically talking about De Quervains release.
What causes De Quervains tenosynovitis?
The exact cause of De Quervains tenosynovitis is unknown; however, activities that involve repetitive hand or wrist movements can make De Quervains tenosynovitis worse. Repetitive hand or wrist movements include gardening, playing golf or tennis, and even lifting up your baby. Other possible causes of De Quervains tenosynovitis include the following: direct trauma to the thumb, playing video games, and inflammatory health conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis. De Quervains tenosynovitis occurs when the two tendons around the base of your thumb become swollen, causing the sheaths that cover the tendons to become inflamed. As a result, this inflammation puts pressure on the nerves, causing you pain and discomfort.
What are the symptoms of De Quervains tenosynovitis?
The primary symptom of De Quervains tenosynovitis is pain or tenderness at the bottom of your thumb. You might even feel pain all the way up your forearm. This pain can develop gradually or hit you all of a sudden. The pain might increase when you use your wrist, thumb, or hand. Other symptoms might include:
- Pain on the back of your thumb, directly over the two inflamed tendons.
- Swelling and pain on the base of your thumb and side of your wrist.
- You feel like your thumb is catching, sticking, or snapping when you move it around.
- A squeaking sound as your tendons move.
- You have a hard time moving your wrist or thumb around, especially when it involves pinching or gripping something.
How is De Quervains tenosynovitis diagnosed?
If you are suffering from any of the previously mentioned symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor. At your doctor’s appointment, your doctor will examine your hand to see if you experience pain when he or she applies pressure on your wrist. Another test that your doctor will perform is called the Finkelstein test. During this test, your doctor will bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and curl your other fingers over the thumb. Essentially, it is a closed fist, with your thumper underneath your finders. Then, you will be your wrist towards your pink. If this test causes you pain on the thumb side of your wrist, you most likely have De Quervains tenosynovitis. Other than the basic hand examination and Finkelstein test, imaging tests, like X-rays, are generally not needed to diagnose De Quervains tenosynovitis.
How is De Quervains tenosynovitis treated?
The main goal of treatment for De Quervains tenosynovitis is to reduce inflammation, regain your range of motion in your thumb, and prevent further and future injury. Like any injury, it is best to treat De Quervains tenosynovitis as soon as possible in order to have a quick and safe recovery. Here are some possible treatment plans that your doctor might prescribe or recommend:
- Medication. Your doctor might recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Injections. Your doctor might also recommend cortisone injections to help reduce the swelling. Typically, if you receive cortisone injections within the first six months of symptoms, you will start to see positive results after the first injection. Cortisone injections are not for everyone so make sure to talk to your doctor to receive his or her expert opinion.
- Therapy. Your doctor might refer you to a physical therapist to help treat your symptoms. Because De Quervains tenosynovitis affects your hands, and you do the simplest tasks with your hands, you will need to learn how to work around your injury. That is where your physical therapist can help you because he or she can teach you exercises on how to strengthen your muscles and reduce pain
- Tenosynovitis surgery. In severe cases, you might require tenosynovitis surgery to treat De Quervains tenosynovitis. In most cases, this will be outpatient surgery where the surgeon will open the sheath to relieve the pressure on your tendons. After surgery, your tendons should be able to easily glide without restrictions. Most likely, your doctor will have you start moving your thumb on the same day of your surgery, in order to start regaining normal motion in your injured hand. It will take between six and twelve weeks to completely heal from tenosynovitis surgery.
- Splint. While treating De Quervains tenosynovitis, it is important to avoid bending or moving your thumb and wrist. In order to do that, your doctor might give you a splint so that you don’t unintentionally move your thumb or wrist and injure yourself further.
Treating De Quervains tenosynovitis at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants
De Quervains tenosynovitis is a very painful condition that needs to be treated efficiently and quickly. At Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants, we understand how frustrating it can be to not be able to properly use your hands to do simple, everyday tasks. Here, we have a highly qualified group of specialists that will give you the treatment that you need and deserve.
If you are suffering from symptoms of De Quervains tenosynovitis or are recovering from tenosynovitis surgery, contact us today to book an appointment!