Wrist Tendonitis

The Hand & Wrist Center
at Modern Orthopedics of New Jersey

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72 Route 17 North
Paramus, NJ 07652


2025 Hamburg Turnpike
STE C, Wayne, NJ 07470


3799 US-46
#207, Parsippany, NJ 07054

Understanding Wrist Tendonitis

There are many different tendons that run over and under the wrist. These tendons allow for our fingers and wrist to bend and straighten. Each tendon has a unique location and function. DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis affects the abductor pollicus longus and extensor pollicus brevis tendons which help control thumb motion. DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis is a common tendon issue in the wrist and can affect patients both young and old. Patients may complain of pain when lifting their newborn, often referred to as “Mommy thumb”, others may notice the pain while doing repetitive lifting at their job or while doing housework, and some may notice the pain while texting or using their phone.

DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis / Wrist TendonitisPatients generally present with pain over the thumb side of the wrist. This area is called the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. This compartment contains the abductor pollicus longus and extensor pollicus brevis tendons. There may be visible swelling directly over this area and it may be tender to touch. Inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the tendons in this compartment may cause narrowing and pain. Pain will commonly be elicited with any kind of lifting, pinching, or grasping activity in ulnar deviation and with the use of the thumb. Our doctors can usually make a diagnosis on physical examination alone. Once the diagnosis is established they will discuss the different treatment options.

About DeQuervain’s Release

If a patient has attempted conservative management and failed to achieve pain relief, they may be a candidate for a first dorsal compartment release. This procedure can be done under local anesthesia in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center. It involves an incision over the thumb side of the wrist. The first dorsal compartment will be identified and released to open the tunnel and free the tendons. After surgery, a splint may be applied for about one week to rest the wrist.

After one week, the splint is removed and you will begin to regain your motion and strength with a series of hand and wrist exercises often able to be performed at home. Recovery generally only takes two to three weeks, and you can return to most activities as tolerated after your first follow-up appointment.

 Our Awarded

Peter DeNoble, MD

Peter DeNoble, MD, FAAOS

Hand, Wrist, Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

David Ratliff, MD, FAAOS

David Ratliff, MD, FAAOS

Hand, Wrist, Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

David Ratliff, MD, FAAOS

Alejandro Morales-Restrepo, MD

Hand, Wrist, Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

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Modern Orthopaedics specializes in conditions and treatments of the shoulder, elbow, hand/wrist, hip, knee and foot/ankle with locations in Wayne, Parsippany, and Paramus, NJ.


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