de Quervain Syndrome
Patients with de Quervain syndrome have painful tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. Tendons are the ropes that the muscle uses to pull the bone. You can see them on the back of your hand when you straighten your fingers. In de Quervain syndrome, the tunnel (the first extensor compartment; see Figure 1A-B) where the tendons run narrows due to the thickening of the soft tissues that make up the tunnel. Hand and thumb motion cause pain, especially with forceful grasping or twisting.
de Quervain Syndrome Causes
Doctors are not sure what causes de Quervain syndrome. Patients often describe a feeling of inflammation, but studies have shown that the process is not inflammatory. People of all ages get it. When new mothers develop de Quervain syndrome, it typically appears 4 to 6 weeks after delivery. The old theory that it was caused by wringing out cloth diapers has been replaced by concerns about holding the baby, but changes in hormones and swelling seem more probable.
Treatment for de Quervain Syndrome
Treatments that can relieve symptoms include:
- A splint that stops you from moving your thumb and wrist.
- Tylenol or aspirin type medications (e.g., ibuprofen).
Treatments that attempt to change the course of the disease include:
- A cortisone-type of steroid injection into the tendon compartment. It has not been clearly established that these injections change the course of de Quervain Syndrome and response to the injection varies.
- Surgery to open the tunnel and make more room for the tendons.
Mid Cities Hand Surgeon
Dr. Van Wyk is a mid cities hand surgeon actively practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 1977. Dr. Van Wyk is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and has practiced in that specialty. He passed the added qualification in hand surgery exam and has limited his practice to 100% hand and upper extremity surgery.
Contact Us Today . . .
Whatever the reason you seek treatment, you'll find superb care at the offices of Dr. William Van Wyk. Put yourself on the road to recovery. Call us today at 817-877-3113 for an appointment.
Please Note: The medical information contained on this website is provided to increase your knowledge and understanding of hand and upper extremity problems or conditions. This information should not be interpreted as the Van Wyk Hand Center’s recommendation for a specific medical or surgical treatment plan.
Material modified from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.