DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis (D-quare-vanes T-no-sigh-no-vie-tis) is an inflammation of the synovial tissue that covers the tendons that straighten and pull the thumb away from the hand (“hitchhiker” position). The tendons involved are the ones along the thumb side of the wrist that are prominent when the thumb is extended away from the hand. The indentation formed between these two tendons is known as the Thenar Snuffbox. Inflammation of the tendons or of the tissue that surrounds them, causes swelling and restricts the tendons' ability to glide back and forth to move the thumb.
The most common cause of de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is overuse from lifting or performing side to side motions with the hand. Sometimes the condition develops for no known reason. Treatment is the same if the cause is known or not.
Other names for the same condition are "styloid tenosynovitis", "de Quervain's stenosing tenosynovitis" or "mother's wrist". The latter came into use because it is a common condition with young moms. Common misspellings include "dequervains" and "de quervians". The condition is named after Fritz de Quervain, a Swiss surgeon.
Pain along the thumb side of the wrist is the most common symptom of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. The pain may radiate down to the end of the thumb or up along the thumb side of the forearm. Pain is most commonly felt when reaching the thumb across the palm or when flexing (bending) the wrist and turning it towards the little finger (ulnar deviation). Pain may also be felt when pressure is applied over the tendons that run along the outside of the thumb and wrist.
Resting the thumb in an extended position with the wrist in a neutral position helps to reduce inflammation and limit the motions that cause de Quervain’s. Depending on the severity of the condition, 3-Point Products offers several different splints that can be used to rest the thumb and wrist. For those with very mild or occasional symptoms, the 3pp ThumSpica provides light restriction to motion and acts as a reminder to avoid the positions that cause pain. The 3pp ThumSpica Plus adds a custom molded splint to the soft ThumSpica wrap for added control. The 3pp Ultra Spica is an easy-to-wear semi-flexible support that is ideal to reduce pain while still allowing hand function. For more severe cases where complete rest of the thumb and wrist are indicated, choose the ThumSaver CMC Long.