De Quervain Disease

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

De Quervain's disease is inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. Tendons are thick strands of tissue that connect muscles to bones.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • Your thumb or wrist may not move the way it did before, even after treatment. It may take time and commitment to therapy to regain strength and normal movement of your thumb and wrist.

  • Without treatment, you may have increased pain and swelling. Over time, your movement and function will decrease. Eventually, you may not be able to move or use your thumb or wrist.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. They are available without a doctor's order. Ask which medicine is right for you, and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.

  • Steroid injection: This decreases long-term pain and swelling. It is usually injected into your wrist or hand.

Tests:

  • X-rays: You may need pictures of your wrist, hand, and forearm to check for a fracture. X-rays of both hands and wrists may be done.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging scan: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your forearm, wrist, and hand. An MRI may show if you have de Quervain's disease. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell caregivers if you are allergic to iodine or seafood. You may also be allergic to the dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell caregivers if you have any metal in or on your body.

Treatments:

  • Splint or brace: These devices will help decrease pain, limit movement, and protect your wrist so that it can heal. Make sure your device is comfortable. If it is too tight, your fingers may feel numb or tingly. Do not push or lean on your device because it can break.

  • Physical or occupational therapy: You may need to see a physical or occupational therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. They also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function. Therapists will help you make changes to your daily activities to decrease stress and pressure on the tendons.

  • Surgery: This may be done if other treatments do not work or your pain interferes with your daily activities. During surgery, an incision is made in the tissue that covers the tendon. This helps release pressure and reduce pain so your tendon can move freely.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about De Quervain Disease (Inpatient Care)

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