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De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

De Quervain’s Tensosynovitis is a common overuse injury we see in clinic which affects two tendons on the radial (thumb) side of your wrist. These tendons are known as the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) tendons. In De Quervain’s, they become irritated as they pass through a sheath (a structure which protects connective tissue) in our wrist.

What are the De Quervain's Tenosynovitis Symptoms?

Symptoms of De Quervain’s include pain and swelling at, above or below this site, which is aggravated by gripping or lifting certain objects such as a pen or heavy pan, or when typing. This condition is also common in racquet sports, ten pin bowlers and rowers due to the abnormal position of the thumb while grasping.

Here is a test which may help you diagnose this condition:

How to treat De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

We can treat De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis by managing the pain with ice or splinting to help reduce aggravating activities. However, strengthening these tendons can provide an important role in the longer-term management of this condition.

Written By

Luke Chetcuti

Sports Physiotherapist Adelaide

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