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Quick Facts about Tenosynovitis of the Wrist

Portea Homecare

Portea Homecare

  Domlur, Bengaluru     Feb 11, 2017

   3 min     


Tenesynovitis of the wrist or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is essentially an inflammation felt in the radial site of the wrist. It was previously known as the “washer woman’s sprain”. Since rinsing clothes is no more a daily phenomena and has been replaced by the perks of a washing machine, the condition is now known by the name of the Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain, who first described and explained it in the year 1895.

The condition itself is often related to some sort of repetitive trauma or injury in the radial side of the wrist. For instance, commonly encountered in fly fishermen, piano players, bricklayers and heavy weight lifters. Basically any sort of work that may involve constant, regular and repetitive strain on the wrists may lead to this sort of a condition.


It is also commonly seen among women more typically in middle age. Women who are pregnant have also repeatedly complained about the same. Tenosynovitis has shown some association with rheumatoid arthritis as well.

Scientific Explanation

There exists a protective sheath called the synovium that covers all tendons. This particular sheath produces the synovial fluid that keeps the tendons lubricated. Any sort of injury to the tendons may result in the malfunctioning of the sheath and its functions. In such a case, the sheath may fail to actually produce the synovial fluid, or it may not be able to make enough fluid. This may then result in swelling and inflammation of the said area leading to the development of the condition called Tenesynovitis.

Treatment options

The treatment for such a condition focuses mostly on reducing the amount of pain and inflammation being faced by the patient. One of the best strategies is to simply give rest to the affected area and stop all activities that had caused the initial injury itself.

In case of severe pain or to restrict the use of the wrist, your doctor may have recommended the use of a brace or even a splint. Applying heat or cold or both alternatively, may help to alleviate the swelling as well as the pain.

Yet other therapies that your doctor or specialist may recommend you include massaging the affected area, stretching and physiotherapy of the affected area, ultrasound, and TENS– Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve stimulation.

Your doctor may also prescribe certain medications such as ibuprofen, or even corticosteroids that can be injected into your body. If your current condition has been the result of some sort of infection, your doctor may be able to prescribe the right antibiotics for you that will help fight the infection. Once the inflamed tendon heals, your therapist, doctor or wellness specialist may even be able to recommend certain exercises or physical therapy methods to help strengthen the muscles and allow it to regain its old functioning.

For any queries pertaining to Tenosynovitis of the wrist, get in touch with PORTEA physiotherapists today.


Tags:  Tenosynovitis, trauma, injury, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve stimulation, Physiotherapy, ,

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