DeQuervain’s Tendinitis

DeQuervain’s Tendinitis is one of the most common causes of wrist pain. This condition occurs when the thumb abductor pollicis longus (APL), and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) become thickened (inflamed) as they course through a tunnel at the wrist level. DeQuervain’s tendinitis may occur with any condition associated with tissue swelling. In particular, activities involving forceful pinching with the wrist in a flexed position may cause the APL and EPB tendons to hinge in the tunnel and also become thickened. DeQuervain’s tendinitis commonly is seen in women after pregnancy probably associated with post-partum swelling and stress on the wrist from holding a baby carrier or young infant. Symptoms of DeQuervain’s tendinitis include wrist pain, which radiates up and down the forearm to the thumb. There may be noticeable swelling or thickening over the lateral aspect of the wrist at the site of the compartment of the APL and EPB tendons. For mild DeQuervain’s tendinitis, treatment involves simple supportive means, which may include cortisone injections; however, for symptoms which do not respond adequately to non-operative treatment or injections, surgery may be indicated.


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