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What is Wrist Tendonitis?

Wrist Tendonitis or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a condition where tendons to the thumb pass through a pulley (tunnel) on the thumb side of the wrist causing pain. It is not clear what causes this, but it can be associated with over exertion and repetitive movements.

How is Wrist Tendonitis treated?

The majority of cases improve spontaneously after rest from the predisposing activity. However if it persists sometimes splintage and anti inflammatories are required. If the pain still persists we are able to inject the area with a small amount of steroid, which is a very strong anti-inflammatory. Only a few cases require surgery.

If surgery is required for Wrist Tendonitis what happens?

The operations are usually day case procedures, which means you, can arrive and leave on the same day. It is usually performed with local anaesthetic, which means only part of your hand goes numb. The wound is approximately 1-1.5 cm. Afterwards a large dressing is applied, which you can reduce at 72 hours. There will be a small adhesive dressing over the actual wound. You need to keep the initial dressing dry.

What happens after the operation for Wrist Tendonitis?

We will usually see you back in the clinic at around 10 days for removal of the stitches. The next appointment would be around 6 weeks. You will usually be able to drive after the stitches have been removed, IF, you have minimal pain. You must be able to perform all manoeuvres safely within the car.

More detailed information on Wrist Tendonitis can be obtained from the British Hand Society website: De Quervain’s

Patient Leaflet Download

Download A patient information leaflet on Leaflet - Wrist Tendonitis from the British Society for Surgery to the Hand

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