The UK’s Leading Orthopaedic Shockwave Clinic
De Quervain’s Syndrome Shockwave Treatment
De Quervain’s syndrome is what doctors often call ‘texting thumb’ or ‘gamer’s thumb’ – and both these conditions are seen more frequently nowadays as people use their phones and play on-line games more frequently.
It is named after the Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain who first identified it in 1895 – well before mobile phones and handheld games – when he was alive it was sometimes known as “washer woman’s sprain” – caused by repetitive wringing of clothes.
Today repetitive texting movements can lead to inflammation of the tendon sheath (tenosynovitis) and cause pain on the inside of the wrist and forearm just above the thumb. If the problem isn’t treated, pain may spread up the forearm or further down into the wrist and thumb. As the friction increases, the tendons may begin to squeak – a noise called crepitus.
Diagnosing de Quervain’s Syndrome
It is usually easy to diagnose and one of the best ways to make the diagnosis is the Finklestein Test.
You can do the Finklestein Test yourself by bending your thumb into the palm and grasping the thumb with your fingers making a fist with the thumb inside. Then bend your wrist away from your thumb. If you feel pain over the tendons to the thumb, your problem may be de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, a doctor can help you with this diagnosis.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects two thumb tendons. These tendons are called the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and the extensor pollicis brevis (EPB). Inflammation here can lead to swelling, which hampers the smooth gliding action of the tendons.
Research into the Effectiveness of de Quervain’s Syndrome Shockwave Treatment
In a Clinical Trial the results of which were published in the SHIRAZ E-MEDICAL JOURNAL the authors concluded that, “Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe and easy method to reduce pain, enhance upper extremity functions, and strengthen hand-grip in patients with de Quervain tenosynovitis if accompanied by conservative therapies, such as thumb splint, and the outcomes may be achieved in a shorter time than other treatments used alone. Pain relief is more significantly achieved in this technique, as it may not be effectively observed in other methods alone.”
What Happens During Shockwave Therapy for de Quervain’s Syndrome?
We will isolate the area that needs to be treated, then using our focussed shockwave equipment we will start sending gentle impulses to the area. The shockwave treatment will bring new blood vessels into the damaged tendons and healing begins to occur. Discomfort will be kept to a minimum and gradually the impulses will become more intense, although little pain will be felt and if it is it will gradually dissipate over a few days.
How Long Will the Shockwave Therapy Take to Work?
Generally, shockwave for de Quervain’s Syndrome will resolve after three to four sessions, depending on your condition and how long you may have suffered with it, while early diagnosis can reduce the number of sessions needed. Sometimes it may take several weeks for the full effects to be felt. The alternative is invasive surgery.
It is important that you work with your physical therapist to ensure that you have an exercise regime and massage to ensure full recovery.
To find out more about how we can help you, or to book a free consultation or an appointment, contact us now, or better still call us right away to discuss your problem Tel: 020 8549 6666