De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: A Common Condition Affecting New Mothers

Sometimes known as “mommy’s wrist,” De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a common condition affecting new mothers. It is not arthritis, nor a fractured wrist, so what causes the pain, and what can you do about it?

Symptoms Of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

No one is exactly sure what causes this painful condition, but its source is two tendons that extend from the thumb to the wrist. The sheaths around the tendons can become irritated and swollen causing severe pain. Moving your thumb and wrist in certain positions can be excruciating.

Although it is commonly known as “mommy’s wrist” , there are other reasons someone might be affected by this condition. Repetitive motions seem to be the common cause. Working in the garden, playing golf or racket sports, or lifting a baby can make the symptoms worse.

mother holding her baby in the bedroom

Common symptoms include the following characteristics:

  • The condition can become apparent after starting a new activity
  • Pain and swelling near the base of your thumb
  • It seems to be common among caregivers of young children, pregnant women and new mothers
  • Painful to form a fist
  • Painful when gripping, grasping and or turning your wrist
  • May result from overuse and repetitive motions
  • There may be a fluid filled cyst or bump at the base of the thumb


If you believe you are suffering from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, try to limit the use of your thumb, apply cold packs to the area, or use OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

If these therapies do not reduce or relieve the pain, contact Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas for further treatments.

Your physician may apply a splint to support and immobilize the thumb and wrist. Other treatments may include: topical meds, a recommendation to a hand therapist, or corticosteroid injections.

If none of these therapies are successful, surgery may be required.

Contact Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas at (713) 230-8047 if you are experiencing thumb and wrist pain and would like an evaluation.

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Practis LLC

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The Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas offers diagnosis and treatment for hand, wrist, and elbow problems in Houston, using the most advanced and minimally invasive medical techniques. Our orthopedic hand specialists and hand and finger surgeons are waiting to provide you with excellent care at one of our hand care centers in River Oaks, Webster, North Houston, Katy/Sugarland, or Baytown

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