I love this problem though I’m sure I wouldn’t if I ever had it. It is one of those hand problems diagnosed by history and physical exam. The name can be a mouthful and is tricky to spell, but it is one that is treatable. Most often with a good outcome.
- Splints. Splints may be used to rest the thumb and wrist.
- Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs). These medications can be taken by mouth or injected into that tendon compartment. They may help reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.
- Avoiding activities that cause pain and swelling. This may allow the symptoms to go away on their own.
- Corticosteroids. Injection of corticosteroids into the tendon sheath may help reduce swelling and pain.
- Surgery -- recommended if symptoms are severe or do not improve. The goal of surgery is to open the compartment (covering) to make more room for the irritated tendons.The procedure is usually done on an out-patient basis. The surgery typically involves identification and cutting of the tendon sheath segment under local anesthesia. Care must be taken to avoid cutting the sensory branch of the radial nerve. Patients commonly return to their normal activities within 2-3 weeks. The procedure has been reported to be successful in about 90% of the cases.
De Quervain Tenosynovitis; eMedicine Article, Feb 17, 2009; Roy A Meals, MD
De Quervain's Tendinitis (De Quervain's Tendinosis) -- AAOS