De Quervain's tenosynovitis

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi there,

​I wonder if anyone has suffered with De quervain's tendonitis? The tendonsat the base of the thumb where it meets the wrist joint become inflamed and painful, making extension of the thumb almost impossible due to the pain andstiffness. I also wonder if anyone has had this treated with electrotherapy or IFT therapy and how they found that? Or any other effective treatment?

Any advice/comments/ would be very welcome.

Thank you.


1 like, 33 replies

33 Replies

  • Posted

    I had this during and after's the most painful and debilitating condition. I had 3 steroid injections in both wrists (maximum) and then opted for surgery. Massive improvement and pain free.
    • Posted


      ​Many thanks for your message. I'm sorry to hear of your experience and hope you are cured of the condition now.

      ​I have had it for 7 months now, with no sign of improvement and not sure where to turn or what to do next. Am not keen on an injection or surgery as the condition is in my right hand and nothing is without risk.


  • Posted

    Hi Grimm

    I was diagnosed with de quarvains tendinitis in 2013.

    I did physiotherapy for a year ( no help at all)

    I then had a steriod jab in my rIght hand. That helped for 6months and I was pain free for that period but continued to work which didn't do me any good.

    I had to stop any further treatment as I had to have both my feet reconstructed which Ive finally recovered from and now, having been on crutches for 2 years it certainly has exasperated the problem.

    I was a hairstylist and had been for 32 years! My hands are buggered and I believe I have wearing of the thumb joint too which may need replacing so I was told by another doc!

    I have had 2 conflicting diagnosis and can't wait for either to be confirmed so I can get treated.

    Haven't heard of either treatments you mentioned .

    I'm seeing a new hand and wrist specialist next week and hope to get a plan of action together.

    I would recommend a steroid jab if the pain is unbearable ( I know that stiffness and pain so ...)

    I also get a burning in my r arm just above the crease (elbow) and it's tender to touch. This is a recent thing but bloody painful. Feels like a tendon/nerve is inflamed .

    I will report back with any info that I feel you may benefit from (appnt on the 9th june)

    Until then , hang in there !

    Out of curiosity, what do or did you do for work? Do you think yours was work related ?


  • Posted

    I would recommend against steroid shots. They're temporary pain relievers, but they can cause the tendon to be weaker in the long term and pain will often come back. Look up some studies if you're considering it.

    Have you tried braces yet? Have you been able to give them a good long chance to rest ? If so, then surgery actually has a high success rate will relatively low risks. If surgery is just a no go, then see a physical therapist and find exercises you can tolerate

  • Posted

    Hi ow,

    ​Thank you for your message, that's very helpful.Iamnot inclined to have a steroid injection.

    ​Has anyone heard of the condition recovering without any intervention?



  • Posted

    Hi Grimm yes i have this. First line if treament was a wrist thumb hard splint i guess you would call it then 2 cortisone injection first one didn't work as it was put in blindly by gp second one worked ultra sound guided. Systoms have returned after 12 months worn splint again for 3 months and have had 4 weeks off work and it has settled to a degree seeing a specialist tomorrow
  • Posted

    Hello.  I had this condition for over a year, though my GP was a bit clueless as to what it was.  I went for physio which didn't really help and I despaired of ever gertting better ( didn't want steroid injections.) However, about three months ago, I started treating myself through dietary recommendations ( online tendonitis guide) including having some good quality protein at every meal and not skipping meals or fasting and taking supplements of flaxseed oil, turmeric, magnesium and vitamin B6. I am now almost totally pain-free and the swelling in the joint where my thumb meets my wrist has all but disappeared. I don't know which ingredient did the trick but something has worked for me. You might find that approach helps you as well. I know how debiliating the pain can be- I used to wake up several times a night and the pain was always worst first thing in the morning.  Good luck. 

    • Posted

      Dear Stephanie,

      ?Thank you very much for your reply about your experience of De Quervain's tenosynovitis.I have had this condition in my right hand for 9 months now,  and it hasbeen extremely painful anddebilitating. However, over the last month, I have changed physiotherapist and clinic, and have had some ultrasound treatment and have been trying a few exercises daily. Since this new rehab programme,I have had a big improvement in pain and stiffness in the joint, and am now optimistic that this condition will eventually disappear.

      ?I have not had any steroid injections. Thank you for suggesting the dietary supplements that you took and I'm glad that these worked for you. I am thinking of trying the same, just for extra 'support' with the rehab. Thanks again. Grimm.

  • Posted

    Hi all- I had De Quervain's tenosynovitis from picking up my 16 mo old granddaughter over and over in the wrong way...i.e. picking her up between my thumb and forefinger. Proper form is to pick up a child in a cupping form instead. After 6 mos. of pain, I went to the doctor and he gave me a steroid shot. I wish I had tried the dietary recommendations or PT before getting the shot. I must say the shot worked about a week after I had it quite wonderfully,  but I had the side effect of thinning of the skin around the wrist after the shot and if my purse or anything rubs against my wrist (in the lightest of ways), I get horrible bruises. I wonder if I can get an implant of some fat in the wrist or something to solve this problem. It is not painful, but it looks really bad to be brused up the all the time. Again, my pain is totally gone, so maybe it is worth it, but you must know steroid shots can come with side effects. Has anyone else experienced this?

    • Posted

      Yes i have that too, a grove about the size of the end on my finger from the cortisone i dont get bruising thought but if i knock it it hurts very much i also have a scar like mark from the first shot i got from a gp. My de quervains has returned though
    • Posted

      So sorry it returned! That is a bummer. I have to remember to pick up the babies in the scoop fashion. I tend to still forget. It's just so fun to hold them!

      I guess I prefer not having the pain and the bruising is the better choice. I guess I would do it again, even knowing I dislike this bruising all the time. I would have tried physical therapy for 6 mos. before getting the shot though, if I had it over to do again. 

  • Posted

    Hi Grimm,

    I developed De Quervains last summer and had an operation in October as I was advised an injection was too late to try. The operation took 8 minutes and after a few days I had about 90% movement again. 9 months later it's still a little stiff at times but nothing like it was before.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


    • Posted

      Hi Andy,

      ?Thank you very much for your message. I'm sorry youhave had De Quervain's tenosynovitis. I hope yoursymptoms continue to improve. I'm glad the operation has helped.

      ?I have had the condition for over 9 months now, the pain and stiffness continue. There has been some improvement with physiotherapy exercises, to stretch and strengthen, but there are still many things that I cannot do, such as use scissors and secaturs and other hand tools, play tennis, cycle, sew, etc.I will continue with physiotherapy as I do not like the idea of an operation, but I don't know when or if I will regain full movement in the joint or ever be entirely free of the pain?

      ?Thanks again.


    • Posted

      I would honestly recommend the operation. 9 months is a very long time to have the condition. The operation is 8 minutes but local anesthetic. You will regain movement almost instantly.

      Good luck with whatever you decide.


    • Posted

      Really where did you get it done my surgeon is saying i have to go under general and have time in hospital ............
    • Posted

      I'm from Glasgow but I actually live in Norway. The surgery was performed at a private clinic in Stavanger. If you have a look on YouTube, you will see exactly what the surgery is like and also see most videos only last 10-15 minutes as the surgery is very short.


    • Posted

      I guess we are behind the times here in Australia. .. i will contact my surgeon and get more details and see if he can do it under local
    • Posted

      Yeah definitely do that as its not a major operation. It's a 1 inch opening, they move the nerve over to the side and then release the entrapment. A colleague at work had it done as well just two weeks ago and his also took 10 minutes under local.

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