Do you experience pain and swelling along your thumb when working with your hands at your New York City job? If so, you may have a condition called de Quervain’s syndrome. More accurately known as de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, the condition is a repetitive motion injury resulting from inflamed tendons in the wrist and at the base of the thumb rubbing against bone.
According to WebMD, when you have de Quervain’s, movements of your wrist and thumb may worsen your pain. You may have difficulty moving your thumb at all. Grasping or pinching motions may be especially difficult. In either case, you may notice the pain moving up into your forearm from your thumb. Pain from de Quervain’s may start gradually and build over time, or it may come on all at once. Apart from repetitive motion and overuse, a direct blow to the thumb can also result in de Quervain’s.
When you report symptoms such as these to your doctor, he or she will determine whether or not you have de Quervain’s by conducting a Finkelstein test. This involves stretching your tendons by folding your fingers over your bent thumb and making a fist. The test is positive if you have pain in your wrist on the side of the thumb.
Treatment for de Quervain’s can include splinting, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. At first, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. If these do not work, he or she may perform a steroid injection. Ultimately, if your symptoms do not resolve, you may require an outpatient surgical procedure to allow your tendons to move more freely by releasing the tendon sheath.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.