Tendonitis & De Quervain’s syndrome
Tendonitis is caused by an inflammation or degeneration of the flexor or extensor tendons in the wrist, and can also be referred to as wrist tendinopathy. It’s commonly seen in the wrist and fingers causing swelling, discomfort and pain.
The symptoms of tendonitis of the wrist include pain, stiffness and swelling especially in the morning when the wrist has had hours of inactivity. It may also be tender when pressed and there may be a creaking feeling when moving the wrist, especially if the patient has had the condition for some time.
Tendonitis of the wrist can be caused by repetitive use or overuse of the wrist, strain or friction. The condition tends to be an inflammation of the tendons which also be degenerate. However, the treatment will be the same regardless of whether the cause of discomfort is inflammation or degeneration.
The condition is often caused by sports such as racket sports where the wrist is flexed, or even working where the wrist is used in the same motion frequently, such as in a factory. It can also be caused from a fall.
Initial treatment is rest, and a wrist sprint or support can help to immobilize the area to allow your symptoms to settle down. However if the injury has occurred some time ago, it can be more difficult to treat.
A cold compress will ease the swelling and alleviate the pain. Anti-inflammatory medicine will also help. A steroid injection may also help.
If your symptoms persist surgery may be needed to release the tendon and remove adhesions from the tendon, allowing it to move more freely. This will reduce the friction and prevent further degeneration.
De Quervain’s syndrome
This is also a painful condition affecting the tendons where they run through a tunnel on the thumb side of the wrist. There is no obvious cause, but is more common in mothers with babies. Symptoms are the same as tendonitis, and the treatment is also similar except that surgery is a different procedure.