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De Quervain’s disease is a painful inflammation of tendons in the thumb that extends to the wrist (tenosynovitis). The swollen tendons and their coverings rub against the narrow tunnel through which they pass. The result is pain at the base of the thumb that extends into the arm.
It is characterized by chronic wrist pain and swelling, difficulty of grasping, burning sensation on the affected part. It sometimes results in immobility. The pain may be intense when one grasps, grips, turns the wrist, or forms a fist. The condition can occur gradually or suddenly. Some people feel pain if direct pressure is applied to the area.
SURGICAL MANAGEMENT - When non-surgical procedures don’t work, surgical procedure is advisable. The goal of surgery is to release tight areas (by opening the dorsal compartment covering) to make more room for the irritated tendons. The opening allows pressure relief of the tendons, to ultimately restore free tendon gliding.After the procedure, the wrist is splinted in a neutral position until the skin sutures are removed. This will minimize the probability of tendon displacement. The prognosis for permanent recovery is excellent.
The best way to prevent de Quervain’s is to avoiding repetitive movements. Change your actions to reduce the stress on your wrists. Take frequent breaks to rest if you are using your wrists. Wear a brace or splint on your thumb and wrist, if necessary.Follow the exercise routine suggested by your doctor or physical therapist. Be sure to tell him or her about any activities that cause pain, numbness, or swelling.