Hand is not doing well at all, I think I may need a shot. :(
De Quervain’s Disease
De Quervain’s Disease is a painful inflammation of specific tendons to the thumb. The swollen tendons and their coverings cause friction within the narrow tunnel or sheath through which they pass. The result is pain at the thumb base. De Quervain’s, which is named after the Swiss surgeon who first described the condition in 1895, is one of the most common types of tendon lining inflammation (also called tenosynovitis).
What are the symptoms of the disease?
Pain along the back of the thumb, directly over the two thumb tendons – the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus – is typical of de Quervain’s. The condition can occur gradually or suddenly. In either case, the pain may travel into the thumb or up the forearm. Thumb motion may be difficult and painful, particularly when pinching or grasping objects. Some people also experience swelling and pain on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. The pain may increase with thumb and wrist motion. Some people also feel pain if direct pressure is applied to the area.
What causes De Quervain’s Disease?
Overuse, a direct blow to the thumb, repetitive grasping and certain inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can all trigger the disease. Gardening, racquet sports, and various workplace tasks are some activities that can aggravate the condition. Often, its cause is unknown. De Quervain’s affects women eight to 10 times more often than men.
How is it diagnosed?
The test most frequently used to diagnose de Quervain’s disease is the Finkelstein test. Your doctor will ask you to make a fist with your thumb placed in your palm. When the wrist is suddenly bent to the little finger side, the swollen tendons are pulled through the tight space. If this maneuver is very painful, it is likely that you have de Quervain’s Disease.
How is the disease treated?
Treatment usually involves wearing a splint 24 hours a day for four to six weeks to immobilize the affected area and refraining from any activities that may aggravate the condition. Ice may also be applied to reduce inflammation. If symptoms continue, your doctor may give you anti-inflammatory medication – which may be taken orally or injected – to reduce swelling. If de Quervain’s disease does not respond to conservative medical treatment, surgery may be recommended.
Surgery for de Quervain’s is an outpatient procedure. It is usually done under local anesthesia. Surgical release of the tight sheath eliminates the friction that worsens the inflammation, thus restoring the tendons’ smooth gliding capability. After surgery and splinting, your doctor will recommend an exercise program for your thumb and wrist. Recovery times vary, depending on your age, general health, and how long the symptoms have been present. In cases that have developed gradually, the disease is usually more resistant to management and improvement in function; and it may take longer to achieve symptom relief.