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Dr. Daniel C. Eby

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

Does your thumb hurt? Is your grip weak? Can you lift a pan or tool without pain in your thumb?

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis occurs when the tissues around your thumb’s tendons become inflamed. The inflammation causes pain in your thumb and wrist and can be the cause of your inability to complete daily tasks that require lifting.

Causes and Risk Factors

The most common cause is repetitive overuse of the thumb and wrist. New parents who have repetitive small tasks like lifting a baby daily may develop this issue.


  • Pain around your thumb with motion, or pressure
  • Grip weakness

Diagnosis and Imaging

Dr. Eby and staff can confidently identify de Quervain’s tenosynovitis without imaging. Although, X-ray and ultrasound can be helpful to rule out other conditions that may be responsible for your pain.


Try some common home remedies before coming into Dr. Eby’s office. Try common over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, apply ice or try splints that limit the motion of your thumb. Specifically, a thumb spica is the type of splint we would recommend. Change the way you do repetitive tasks by modifying your activity.

Come into the office to be seen after trying the treatments above. We may recommend trying a cortisone injection which can calm down the inflammation and prevent further symptoms. Otherwise, we can offer splints that would meet your specific needs.


McMahon, Patrick J., and Harry B. Skinner. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Orthopedics. 6th ed., McGraw-Hill Medical, 2021.
Jennifer, Rynders, and Sara D Hart. Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants. 1st ed., Elsevier – Health Science, 2013.