Hand tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the hand and is a common cause of hand pain.

Hand Tendonitis

Orthopaedics Infoline

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What is hand tendonitis?

Hand tendonitis occurs when the hand tendons become injured or irritated. It can happen quickly as a result of an accident or sudden injury, or more slowly through repetitive movement or overuse. The hand tendons are responsible for helping the muscles to move. When they become inflamed through hand tendonitis, this movement becomes restricted and can have painful symptoms such as:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Weakness
  • Stiff movement
  • A clicking sensation

One of the most common types of tendonitis affects the extensor tendons. Running across the back of the hand, they are easily damaged or injured making it painful to fully straighten out the fingers.  

How is it treated?

The first treatment step for hand tendonitis is to identify the source of the pain. There are several non-invasive treatments that can help soothe the symptoms and ease the pain in the early stages. Resting the hand will help ease the swelling and reduce the inflammation. Ice can be used on the affected area for pain relief, and anti-inflammatory medication can also help manage the pain. Once the initial swelling has reduced, talk to your physiotherapist about hand rehabilitation exercises. This will help you regain tendon strength and restore flexibility. If symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend hand tendonitis surgery as a consideration. There are several procedures available depending on the extent of the condition, such as removing the diseased tissue from around the tendon, tendon reattachment or tendon reconstruction.

How long does it last?

Early diagnosis is crucial to making the best recovery from hand tendonitis. Milder hand tendon injuries can be treated at home using conservative methods such as pain relief, rest and ice. The symptoms should clear up within a few days. In more severe cases where the tendon has ruptured or torn and hand tendon surgery is required, the recovery period will be significantly longer.

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