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Should I have the tendinitis in my wrist treated?

De Quervain’s tendinitis occurs when the tendons around the base of the thumb are irritated or constricted. The goal in treating De Quervain’s tendinitis is to relieve the pain caused by irritation and swelling.

De Quervain’s Tendinitis Treatments


Nonsurgical Treatment

  • Splints. Splints may be used to rest the thumb and wrist.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs). These medications can be taken by mouth or injected into that tendon compartment. They may help reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.

  • Avoiding activities that cause pain and swelling. This may allow the symptoms to go away on their own.

  • Corticosteroids. Injection of corticosteroids into the tendon sheath may help reduce swelling and pain.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery may be recommended if symptoms are severe or do not improve. The goal of surgery is to open the compartment (covering) to make more room for the irritated tendons. Surgery opens the sheath over the inflamed tendons.


Normal use of the hand usually can be resumed once comfort and strength have returned. Your orthopaedic surgeon can advise you on the best treatment for your situation.

Patient Education Sheets

For additional information about treatment, we have included this complete patient eduction sheet as a pdf to view, download and print:

Hand & Wrist Specialists