De Quervain's Tendonitis Treated at Mercy in Baltimore

The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Orthopedic surgeons at The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of upper extremity conditions. Our doctors have advanced training and expertise in wrist and hand conditions such as De Quervain’s tendonitis. 

About the Condition

The thumb has two main tendons that go through a tunnel located on the wrist’s thumb side. De Quervain’s tendonitis (also known as De Quervain's disease or De Quervain's tenosynovitis) occurs when the tendons at the thumb’s base are inflamed and swollen. This inflammation causes the tendon’s lining to swell disabling the tendons from moving easily though the tunnel.

De Quervain’s tendonitis may be caused by:

  • Repetitive motion of the hand and wrist
  • Injury
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of De Quervain’s tendonitis include:

  • Pain in the thumb side of the wrist
  • Swelling
  • Catching
  • Limited motion
  • Numbness

De Quervain’s tendonitis can be diagnosed with a physical exam. The Finkelstein test is performed to help with diagnosis. The patient makes a fist with the thumb placed under the fingers and moves the wrist to the little finger side. Pain in the thumb side of the wrist indicates De Quervain's tendonitis.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treatment options for De Quervain’s tendonitis can include:

  • Immobilization with a splint
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injection

Surgery may be recommended when non-surgical treatment options do not relieve the symptoms of De Quervain’s tendonitis. The tunnel through which the tendons move is expanded during surgery. This expansion of the tunnel gives the tendons more space enabling them to once again move freely.