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General Practice 2023

Quervain's tenosynovitis: what é, symptoms and treatment

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Quervain's tenosynovitis: what é, symptoms and treatment
Quervain's tenosynovitis: what é, symptoms and treatment

Quervain's tenosynovitis corresponds to inflammation of the tendons that are located at the base of the thumb, which causes pain and swelling in the region, which can worsen when performing finger movements. The cause of this inflammation is still not very clear, however the symptoms tend to get worse when repetitive movements are performed, such as typing, for example.

Treatment should be indicated by an orthopedist according to the symptoms presented, but thumb immobilization and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs are often indicated to relieve symptoms. In cases where the symptoms do not go away even with the completion of the treatment or when the symptoms are so intense that they interfere with the performance of day-to-day activities, surgery may be indicated.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of Quervain's tenosynovitis include:

  • Pain in the thumb, especially when there is movement of the finger;
  • Pain when laterally moving the wrist with the bent finger;
  • Pain when touching the region around the thumb;
  • Site hardening;
  • Local swelling, noticed mainly in the morning;
  • Difficulty holding an object;
  • Pain and discomfort when performing common everyday movements, such as opening a can, buttoning or opening the door.

Although the cause of de Quervain's tenosynovitis is still not well understood, it is believed that performing repetitive movements may favor inflammation, as well as being associated with chronic and systemic diseases such as diabetes, gout and arthritis rheumatoid, for example.

Also, some people are more likely to develop de Quervain's tenosynovitis such as premenopausal women, pregnant women, or people who have had a wrist fracture at some point in their lives.

How the treatment is done

Treatment of de Quervain's tenosynovitis should be carried out according to the orthopedist's guidance, in most cases immobilization of the thumb and wrist is indicated to prevent movement and aggravation of inflammation. In addition, in these cases, the use of analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs may also be indicated to help relieve symptoms. In some cases, corticosteroid infiltration may also be indicated to accelerate recovery.

When drug treatment is not enough or when symptoms limit day-to-day activities, the doctor may recommend surgery to treat inflammation and promote improvement and relief of symptoms.It is also common that, after surgery, physiotherapy sessions are recommended to speed up the recovery process.

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