Tendonitis is a medical term used to describe irritation, inflammation, and swelling of a tendon, mostly felt where these fibrous bands attach to the bone. There are many tendons housed within the body and when a frequently used tendon like those found on the wrist become inflamed, tendonitis may develop.
Wrist tendonitis, or De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, is a condition caused when the synovium and tendons, located around the base of the thumb, become inflamed. The inflammation often results from complications of the tendons which control the movement of the thumb and wrist.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis mostly frequents within the 30-50-year-old age group and is most diagnosed in women. As with other types of tendonitis, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is caused by an excessive use of the wrist. This condition is commonly seen in new mothers, as the motion when picking up the baby may begin to cause irritation to the surrounding tendons. It can also be seen in individuals who constantly use a hammer, gardeners, skiers, and/or people who play racquet sports. In our modern day, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis may also occur in people who overuse their thumbs while texting and gaming.
The most common signs and symptoms of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis are tenderness and gradual to instant pain on the thumb side of the wrist, which may also radiate up the forearm. The pain from this type of tendinitis can feel worse when using the thumb to grasp an object or while twisting the wrist. Furthermore, the inflammation and swelling around the area of the thumb can greatly limit mobility, making everyday activities difficult to engage in.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez