What is wrist tendonitis?
Wrist tendonitis occurs when the wrist tendons become inflamed or irritated through overuse, repetitive movement or damage. Tendonitis usually affects the extensor tendons that cross the back of the wrist, or the flexor tendons that cross the front of the wrist in an area where they meet or pass over a joint. Anyone who performs activities that stress the wrist is at risk of tendonitis. Other risk factors include females, sports that use the wrist action, jobs with repetitive wrist motions, poor wrist positioning and arthritis. Symptoms include:
- Pain with movement
- Redness and warmth
- A grinding sound with movement
How is it treated?
Wrist tendonitis can be confirmed with a physical examination and an X-Ray, as the symptoms are similar to wrist conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist arthritis and wrist fracture. It is generally treated conservatively using the RICE technique of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. It’s important to allow the tendons a complete rest while they heal and avoid any lifting, typing or unnecessary movement. A splint can help to stabilise your wrist and protect it during the recovery. Surgery is only considered in extreme cases and may involve removing diseased tissue or making a small cut to release the pressure on the tendon.
How long does it last?
Wrist tendonitis is generally considered a short-term condition that will heal within a short period after a few days of rest and treatment. The main goal is to reduce the inflammation. In more severe cases, the healing process may take several weeks. If surgery is required, your hand will be immobilised in a splint for 3-4 weeks to allow the tendons to heal. A full recovery can take up to 6 months.
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