De Quervain Syndrome

Hand and Microsurgery Associates

Hand Surgery & Orthopedic Surgery located in Columbus, OH
De Quervain syndrome can cause severe hand and wrist pain when you try and grip or use your thumb. If this condition is affecting you, the team at Hand and Microsurgery Associates in Columbus, Ohio, can help. Their board-certified hand surgeons and hand therapy specialists provide a range of treatments to relieve the pain of de Quervain syndrome and allow you to use your hand normally. Call Hand and Microsurgery Associates today to find out more or arrange an appointment.

De Quervain Syndrome Q & A

What is de Quervain syndrome?
De Quervain syndrome is a condition affecting the tendons in your thumb and wrist, causing pain and loss of function when you try and use your hand in specific ways.

Tendons are tough, fibrous connective tissues. One end of the tendon attaches to a bone, the other to a muscle. You use your tendons to move your bones. There are two tendons in your wrist that pass through a tunnel connecting them to your lower thumb.

When you have de Quervain syndrome, the tendons and surrounding sheaths thicken, narrowing the space in the tunnel. The tissues are called tenosynovium, giving the condition its medical name – de Quervain tenosynovitis.

What are the symptoms of de Quervain syndrome?
De Quervain syndrome causes pain when you make twisting or grasping movements with the affected hand. The pain can be sharp and often severe at first before fading to a throbbing, aching feeling.

You feel the pain in the base of your thumb, and it can travel into your wrist. You might also find it more difficult to move your thumb in certain ways.

What causes de Quervain syndrome?
The precise cause of de Quervain syndrome isn’t clear, but it typically affects people who make repeated motions with their thumbs. This might be from doing repetitive tasks at work, or when playing sports and pursuing hobbies like gardening.

People who use their thumbs to play computer games or text frequently are increasingly affected by de Quervain syndrome, leading to the condition being known as gaming or texter’s thumb.

You might also get de Quervain syndrome if you hit your thumb and injure it, or if you have a condition like rheumatoid arthritis. It’s more common in women and often affects new mothers.

How is de Quervain syndrome treated?
The expert hand therapy and surgical teams at Hand and Microsurgery Associates provide effective treatments for de Quervain syndrome that can reduce your pain and increase function.

The hand therapy team can provide a custom splint for your thumb and wrist to prevent movement. Under careful supervision, this immobilization of your thumb gives the tendons a chance to heal. You might also benefit from taking anti-inflammatory medication.

When rest and physical therapy aren’t improving your condition, a steroid injection into the tendon area could help reduce the thickening and relieve pain. If these approaches aren’t producing results, the Hand and Microsurgery Associates surgical team can carry out surgery to open up the tunnel and increase space for the affected tendons.

If you have symptoms of de Quervain syndrome, call Hand and Microsurgery Associates today to schedule a consultation.