Also referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger or De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, DeQuervain’s syndrome affects the tendons where they pass through the tunnel on the wrist (thumb side). While this condition is not considered to be harmful, it can be an extremely painful nuisance.
Causes of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
The condition is a repetitive strain injury that can be caused by chronic overuse of the hand and wrist. It is a common work injury among typists, computer operators and individuals performing repetitive tasks using the hand or wrist. Accidents at work exerting direct trauma to the wrist and hand can also cause this condition.
DeQuervain’s syndrome symptoms
Symptoms of this work related condition include:
- Pain in the thumb and wrist (thumb side)
- Tenderness when pressing on the affected site
- Occasional snapping or clicking of tendons
The severity of these symptoms may vary significantly. If the hand and wrist are sufficiently rested, mild cases typically recover within a few weeks without requiring treatment. More severe cases may, however, require some sort of treatment to ease the pain.
Mild cases of DeQuervain’s syndrome can often be treated effectively by simply avoiding the activities causing pain whenever possible. Sometimes it becomes necessary to immobilise the affected wrist and thumb with the help of wrist and thumb splints (available from physiotherapists, pharmacies and sports shops). Steroid injections have been reported to effectively relieve pain in around 70 per cent of cases. In particularly severe cases, it may become necessary to decompress the tunnel through surgery.
Steroid injections carry the very rare and small risk of a colour change or thinning of the skin at the injection site. Carpal tunnel surgery carries the usual risks involved in having an anaesthetic, which in this kind of operation may be:
- Local (injection at or close to the affected site)
- Regional (injection, usually in the arm pit, numbing the entire arm) or
Obviously, the risks of a general anaesthetic are greater than those involved in local or regional anaesthetics.
Should you suffer DeQuervain’s syndrome or any other repetitive strain injuries due to overuse or a work accident, Accident Advice Helpline can help you claim for work injury compensation. Fill in the 30-second test on our website or have a chat with one of our advisers on 0800 689 0500 to determine if you are eligible to claim and enlist the help of our highly efficient in-house injury lawyers today.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice