Do I Have Wrist Tendonitis?

Are you experiencing difficulty and pain when moving your wrist? One of the most common causes of wrist pain is a condition called wrist tendonitis, also known as tenosynovitis. It’s characterized by irritation and inflammation of the tendons around the wrist joint, and is a fairly common condition. So, how do you know if you are experiencing wrist tendonitis?


  • difficulty moving wrist
  • pain in area of inflammation
  • swelling of surrounding soft tissue

How to Diagnose

Wrist tendonitis is most often diagnosed by looking for the characteristic symptoms. Symptoms are universal, but a more specific analysis is required to determine the precise location of the inflammation. A trained physician can perform stretch tests to determine exactly which tendon is the source of discomfort. One form of wrist tendonitis, called ‘DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis’, is the inflammation of the tendon at the base of the thumb. This form of tendonitis most commonly afflicts new mothers and is diagnosed using a specific test called ‘Finkelstein’s’ test’. This is just one example of the many forms of wrist tendonitis. Depending on the specific source of pain, there are a number of different treatment options available.



Splinting the wrist is the first step towards treating wrist tendonitis. By restricting the tendon and allowing it to rest, inflammation and pain should decrease. 

Anti-inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications are effective at decreasing inflammation and swelling in the soft tissue, which is the primary cause of the pain. This treatment, however effective, is not a permanent solution to an ongoing problem. 

Cortisone Injection

Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory that is administered through injection directly at the source of pain. Again, this treatment may be only temporary and can weaken the tendons over time. 


If the previously listed methods of treatment were deemed ineffective and the problem is recurring a doctor might recommend a surgical procedure. Through surgery, areas of the tendon and inflammatory tissue can be removed, allowing the tendon to move freely. If you are experiencing wrist pain it is highly recommended that you visit an orthopedic surgeon immediately. They can correctly diagnose your condition and recommend the correct treatment plan for your specific issue. For the most respected orthopedic surgeons in Michigan contact Michigan Hand and Wrist, P.C. and discuss with them your individualized treatment plan.

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