De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

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De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is one of the most common types of tendon lining inflammation. This condition is a painful swelling of specific tendons of the thumb. The condition is also known as De Quervain’s Tendonitis; its name was originated after a Swiss surgeon who first described the condition in 1895.

Tendons are bands of tissue that attach muscles to bones. Normally tendons slide easily through a tunnel of tissue called a sheath. The sheath keeps the tendons in place next to the bones of the thumb. Tendons that easily slide through their sheaths allow the thumb to move without difficulty or pain.

The pain may extend from the forearm to the thumb base. Any swelling of the tendons and / or thickening of the sheaths can cause friction. Afterwards, the tendons can no longer easily slide through their sheaths. When this occurs, certain thumb and wrist motions become much more difficult to do. A sprain or overusing the tendons through repetitive movements of the thumb at work or during sports activity tends to make the swelling and pain worse.

Also referred to as radial styloid tenosynovitis, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis often develops as a result of chronic overuse. Patients living with this condition often complain of painful symptoms and reduced strength or range of motion.

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