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Using Thumb Splints to Treat De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Using Thumb Splints to Treat De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

dequervains_for_blog_postWhen treating patients with de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, they may complain of a swollen thumb and radial-sided wrist pain. The pain may become worse, and may radiate up the thumb or forearm, during activities that require abduction or flexion of the thumb. In most cases, de Quervain’s is caused by overuse or repetitive stress, although the condition may develop for unknown reasons.

Recognizing Symptoms of de Quervain’s

  • Radial-sided wrist pain with or without inflammation at the base of the thumb
  • Pain with thumb abduction or flexion
  • Inflammation over the thumb side of the wrist
  • A snapping or catching sensation when moving the thumb
  • Numbness of the back of the thumb that may spread to the index finger

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Treatment of de Quervain’s

Since the pain of de Quervain’s is tendinopathic, physical and occupational therapy that includes nonsteroidal agents, cryotherapy, and topical corticosteroids mediated with ultrasound and iontophoresis are often helpful in managing the symptoms.

Splints and Braces for de Quervain's

Splinting remains a first-line conservative treatment. Depending on the severity and longevity of the symptoms, splinting choices may be soft flexible splints for mild or occasional symptoms, moderately restrictive splints for more severe and persistent symptoms and firm supports that restrict motion for more severe, long-standing pain.   

The 3pp Ez FIT Thumb Spica Splint has a full length aluminum stay that can be custom contoured to position the thumb and wrist. Open palm design leaves the ulnar border of the hand free for excellent function and patient compliance.

Ez FIT Thumb Spica Splint Main Image

It is important to follow patients after a splint is issued. If symptoms do not improve with a full time splint wear regime, patients should be referred for treatment or a surgical release.

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