Summary: We’re used to wear and tear on our hands. It’s just a natural side effect of the fact that we use them so darn often. But sometimes there are deeper issues in the hand—issues we shouldn’t ignore and that sometimes may require surgery to correct. On of those issues is called De Quervain’s Tenosynovitisis, and it presents as pain in the wrist in line with the thumb. If you have this type of pain, you should see a hand specialist.
Wear and Tear
Because we use it so often, the hand is subject to much wear and tear. We’ve talked about how sometimes this wear and tear can come in the form of a cut from chopping onions (which you should get checked out), or how it that wear and tear might come from your work in the form of carpal tunnel. The fact that we expect wear and tear can sometimes hide deeper problems. For example, if your hand hurts, you might not feel like it’s worth checking out because it’s just a little hand or wrist pain.
A Pain in the Wrist
But if your pain is a particular type of pain—namely, if the pain exists at your wrist in line with your thumb, you may have something called De Quervain’s Tenosynovitisis. Which is a mouthful. I’m not even going to write it again. You’ll have to go back and read it a couple of times. But if you’re wondering what it is, well, it’s kind of like carpal tunnel syndrome for the thumb.
Just as with the fingers, there’s a tendon that runs through the wrist and up to the thumb (it’s what helps you flex your thumb). Sometimes this tendon can become inflamed, and when that happens, it swells up in that canal through the wrist and causes pain—sometimes intense pain.
This pain can sometimes be managed with a little bit of icing and resting of the effected area. But if resting it doesn’t work, and if icing it doesn’t work, it’s likely you’ll need surgery to correct the problem. So how do you fix something like that surgically? Well, it’s all about the sheathing that surrounds those particular tendons.
Same Sheath, Different Day
The sheathing itself is kind of like a wrap around your tendons. It keeps them tightly in the position they’re supposed to be in. But when the tendons become inflamed, that sheathing becomes part of the problem. During surgery, your hand specialist will make a small incision on the wrist, usually no more than a half inch or so in length. This incision grants access to the sheathing around the tendons. Once that access is given, the surgeon will cut the sheathing—if a second sheathing is revealed, as is often the case, that second sheathing will be cut as well.
Go Home Already
Patients can usually go home the same day, especially if there aren’t any complications from the procedure. In fact, this procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, which means that Clear Lake hand surgery patients could, for example, visit Clear Lake Hand Center and have the procedure performed there—not at a hospital. It’s just an extra level of comfort and care—and cost control. Sometimes, patients are given an extra dose of local anesthetic for the recovery period, and thumb movement is recommended after surgery, as it helps everything heal to get it all moving again.
Keep an Eye on Your Wrist
Now, not every instance of wrist pain is going to be De Quervain’s Tenosynovitisis. But as with all health matters, you should get chronic pain diagnosed. So if your wrist, especially in your thumb area, continuously experiences intense pain, see a hand expert and keep surgery in mind as a possible solution.