de Quervain's disease

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Tendinitis of the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus tendons at the base of the thumb; an overuse injury of the wrist common among racket players and golfers, especially those golfers who use a larger than average range of motion during a swing. Right-handed golfers tend to injure the left wrist. This injury is characterized by local swelling and tenderness on the thumb side of the wrist, and difficulty in moving the thumb into a 90°, ‘thumbs up’, angle. Initial treatment consists of RICE and anti-inflammatories. If symptoms persist, medical advice should be sought. Non-surgical treatment, which may include splinting and cortisone injections, usually resolves the condition, but sometimes surgery may be necessary to release the tendon or remove calcium deposits that might have accumulated. Recovery from non-surgical treatment usually takes about 1–2 weeks; recovery after surgery includes a period of immobilization in a cast (about 2 weeks), followed by a few weeks of rehabilitation.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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