Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are located throughout the body. When tendonitis occurs in the wrist, it typically causes pain and tenderness in the area, along with stiffness and weakness. Tendonitis (tenosynovitis) of the wrist is a common problem.
Causes of tendonitis in the wrist are similar to causes of tendonitis elsewhere in the body: overuse. For example, athletes or workers who repeatedly use their wrists in a similar fashion (such as on a computer keyboard or in a factory line) are susceptible to wrist tendonitis. The risk of repetitive strain injuries increases with age.
If the following signs are noticed around the wrist joint, it could indicate wrist tendonitis:
· Pain, tenderness
· Warmth, redness
· Stiffness, limited range of motion
· Creaking or grating sensation (called crepitus)
Tenderness may be more pronounced in the mornings. It will also be more noticeable when pressing on the injured tendon.
DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis is a type of wrist tendonitis in which the afflicted tendon is found at the base of the thumb.
Tendonitis of the wrist may affect just one tendon in the wrist, or multiple tendons. A physician may perform tests to determine which tendon may be the culprit. X-rays may help rule out other causes of wrist pain, such as arthritis or fractures. Laboratory tests are usually not required for a diagnosis.
When It May Not Be Wrist Tendonitis
A diagnosis of tendonitis may sometimes mischaracterize the issue. If the tendon’s collagen has degenerated over time, rather than the tendon becoming inflamed, it is more properly described as tendinopathy. Even so, the causes, symptoms and treatment may be similar, whether the condition is tendonitis or tendinopathy.
Wrist tendonitis differs from carpal tunnel syndrome, in which numbness and tingling in the hand can occur due to a pinched nerve in the wrist.
Overuse injuries like wrist tendonitis differs from strains, which are caused by an injury to a ligament, which connects bone to bone rather than muscle to bone, like a tendon.
If you think you may be suffering from wrist tendonitis, the orthopedists at Watauga Orthopaedics can help relieve your pain and restore your mobility so you can live your life without pain. Call Watauga Orthopaedics at (423) 282-9011 to request an appointment, or schedule an appointment online.