What is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a common disorder which occurs due to cumulative trauma and is most prevalent in women. The disorder occurs when the tendons around the base of thumb become irritated or constricted. Any activities that result in forceful repetitive sustained thumb abduction can cause this disorder to develop. There are many workplace activities that can cause this disorder to develop including opening of jars, making wide grasps to use pliers and lifting an object as you would pick up a child repetitively. This disorder can be a direct result of acute trauma but not commonly.

Symptoms of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis include pain on the thumb side of the wrist, swelling and catching can occur while moving the thumb. Symptoms also include discomfort when the wrist is turned, when anything is grasped or when making a fist. The pain can also run up the forearm or down into the thumb and there may be a small knot that can be felt on the thumb side of the wrist.

Initial treatment for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis includes thumb immobilization, anti-inflammatories and cortisone injections. If the symptoms are very severe, surgery can often help. A De Quervain’s Release is used to relieve symptoms associated with the constriction of the tendons and is a minor procedure. Relief is typically permanent but sometimes when aggravating activities such as repetitive gripping and lifting, some symptoms may persist.

If your job duties require repetitive hand movements, you should pay particular attention to your hand positions and your tasks should be completed with your hands in a neutral position, you should avoid wide grasping and repetitive triggering with your thumb and fingers. People who are diagnosed with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis tend to have jobs that involve repetitive wrist motions such as carpenters, office workers and musicians. If you have been diagnosed with Dr Quervain’s Tenosynovitis in the past, your work duties may cause an aggravation of the condition.

If you have an accepted workers’ compensation injury, you should review the Notice of Compensation Payable to make sure that the accepted description of injury includes all injuries you may have sustained. If you believe you may have De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, you should seek the opinion of a medical provider. Your medical provider should be willing to support that the De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is related to your work-related condition. If you believe you have a sustained a De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis work injury, please call Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., to discuss your claim. In either event, litigation may be necessary to have the claim accepted, the description of injury be amended, or to make sure you receive the workers’ compensation benefits due and owing to you, such as wage loss benefits if you miss time from work and payment of your medical bills.