Tendonitis is the inflammation and swelling of a tendon. A tendon is a fibrous structure that connects muscle to bone. Tendonitis of the wrist therefore is caused by inflammation and swelling of the tendons which surround the thumb. It is most common in women aged 30-50.
Even though the cause is not known contributing factors include over use and inflammatory arthritis. It is also seen in association with pregnancy.
Pain when grasping/pinching
Tenderness around the thumb side of the wrist which may travel up the forearm.
Swelling may occur along the thumb and movement may become difficult
Numbness on the back of the thumb and index finger
Your orthopaedic surgeon will:
Take a complete medical history
Perform a physical exam to determine the area of pain and identify any tenderness in the affected areas
The Finkelstein test is also conducted whereby the patient is asked to make a fist, tucking their thumb under fingers .The wrist is then bent towards the little finger. If patient has tendonitis, doing this test will dramatically increase pain.
Injections of corticosteroid medications administered to reduce swelling
Immobilising the thumb and wrist with a splint
Avoiding repetitive thumb movements
Applying ice to the affected area
Simple medication such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
Surgery may be needed in more serious cases where under local anaesthetic the doctor opens the sheath surrounding the involved tendon to release the pressure and restore free movement