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DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis


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Diagram: Area of irritation or swelling in tendon sheath

General Infromation: Dequervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis

DeQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis is an irritation and swelling of the sheath or tunnel which surrounds the thumb tendons as they pass from the wrist to the thumb. Sometimes a lump or thickening can be felt in this area. If the hand is made into a fist with the thumb “tucked in” and bent towards the little finger, the pain gets worse (Finkelstein test).

Tendonitis may be caused by overuse and also can be seen in association with pregnancy or inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid disease.

The irritation causes the compartment (lining) around the tendon to swell, changing the shape of the compartment; this makes it difficult for the tendons to move as they should. The swelling can cause pain and tenderness along the thumb side of the wrist, usually noticed when forming a fist, grasping or gripping things, or turning the wrist.

Diagram: Area of irritation or swelling in tendon sheath

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