De Quervain's Disease

De Quervain's disease is a condition often seen in racquet sports where there is a soreness (inflammation) in the cord like structures (tendons) which attach muscle to bone on the thumb side of the wrist. There may be a tightening of the tissuesaround the tendons. This condition is often helped by giving up or modifying the activity which caused it. When conservative treatment does not help, surgery may be required. Conservative treatment could include changes in the activity which brought about the problem or made it worse. Anti-inflammatory medications and injections may be used to help decrease the inflammation and help with pain control. Your caregiver will help you determine which is best for you.


Often the diagnosis (learning what is wrong) can be made by examination. Sometimes x-rays are required.


  • Apply ice to the sore area for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times per day while awake. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin. This is especially helpful if it can be done after all activities involving the sore wrist.

  • Temporary splinting may help.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort or fever as directed by your caregiver.


  • Pain relief is not obtained with medications, or if you have increasing pain and seem to be getting worse rather than better.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.