Your hands and wrists contain multiple tendons, bones, and ligaments that allow you to move in complex, flexible ways. It also means there are lots of ways for issues to arise with your hands and wrists.
At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and his team of orthopedic and sports medicine experts treat new and existing patients with hand and wrist problems.
Among these issues is De Quervain's tenosynovitis, a condition that causes pain around your thumb and on the side of your wrist nearest to your thumb.
If you notice these signs of De Quervain's tenosynovitis, get in touch with Dr. Blackwell at his locations in Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas, for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment support. Here’s what you need to know.
What is De Quervain's tenosynovitis?
De Quervain's tenosynovitis affects the tendons on the side of your wrist nearest to your thumb. Two ropy tendons in your wrist and lower thumb need to move smoothly for you to perform tasks like pinching, grasping, and grabbing, and if they’re irritated and overstressed, you have this condition.
These tendons can swell and thicken as a result of overuse. In an area around the base of your thumb, both tendons have to pass through a small tunnel, and the swelling can lead to the problems with discomfort and loss of motion typical of De Quervain's tenosynovitis.
Injuries, inflammatory arthritis, and pregnancy can all increase your risk of developing De Quervain's tenosynovitis.
While the ultimate root causes of De Quervain's tenosynovitis remain a mystery, the condition can get worse with repetitive use stress in the hand or wrist.
These activities can include regularly lifting a child, playing sports like golf or tennis, or even using an electrical device like a tablet or computer too frequently.
Signs and symptoms of De Quervain's tenosynovitis
If you’re affected by De Quervain's tenosynovitis, you’re most likely to notice initial symptoms of discomfort or pain. De Quervain's tenosynovitis is associated with signs and symptoms including:
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling around the base of your thumb
- Pain or tenderness on the thumb side of your wrist
- Pain when turning the wrist
- Pain when grasping or lifting
- Pain when forming a fist
- Trouble with moving your thumb and wrist while pinching or grasping
- Inability to lift with your arms in front of you and thumbs pointing upward
- A sense that your thumb “sticks” instead of moving freely
The pain and discomfort associated with De Quervain's tenosynovitis may seem to come on gradually, or may begin suddenly. Your pain is likely to worsen after use. Without treatment, you may start to feel the pain spreading further into your thumb or forearm.
Treating your De Quervain's tenosynovitis
Dr. Blackwell can help you understand your De Quervain's tenosynovitis signs and symptoms, and recommend the best plan to support your current and long-term hand and wrist health.
Not getting the care and treatment you need for De Quervain's tenosynovitis puts you at risk of lasting issues with your hand and wrist function and flexibility.
If you have concerning symptoms of hand and wrist pain, get in touch with Dr. Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine now. Schedule your consultation over the phone or book online today.