De Quervain’s disease

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De Quervain’s disease is a painful condition that affects tendons where they run through a tunnel on the thumb side of the wrist.

The sheath surrounding the tendon becomes swollen and thick, and moving your thumb will be very painful.

The cause isn’t understood. Some sources claim it is a type of tenosynovitis (see below) or tendonitis, but this is not true. De Quervain’s disease is not associated with inflammation.

Some mild cases get better on their own after a few weeks of rest and avoiding the activity that triggered it. A wrist splint or a corticosteroid injection may help.

Severe cases may need to be treated with surgery, which involves widening the tunnel through which the tendon passes.

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Self referrals

You can self-refer into community physiotherapy services. Simply call 0207 871 0545 to make an appointment. Your initial contact with one of our chartered physiotherapists may be over the phone, where you will either be given advice on appropriate treatment, or a face-to-face consultation will be arranged.

Should you wish to speak to your GP first, simply make an appointment with your local practice. If your GP refers you, one of our patient care advisers will contact you within 48 hours to arrange an appointment.

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