Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath (called the synovium) that surrounds a tendon. Symptoms of tenosynovitis include pain, swelling and difficulty moving the particular joint where the inflammation occurs. Tenosynovitis most commonly results from the introduction of bacteria into a sheath through a small penetrating wound such as that made by the point of needle or thorn. Repeated use of hand tools can precede the condition, as well as arthritis or injury.
HOW IS TENOSYNOVITIS DIAGNOSED?
A physical examination shows swelling over the involved tendon. The health care provider may touch or stretch the tendon, or have you move the muscle where it is attached to see whether you experience pain. In some cases, the doctor may order an ultrasound or MRI to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other possible causes such as arthritis.
HOW IS TENOSYNOVITIS TREATED?
The treatment for tendon sheath inflammation focuses on reducing inflammation and pain. One strategy is to rest the affected area and stop the activities that caused the initial injury. The doctor may recommend the use of a brace or splint to immobilize the affected area. Applying heat or cold may also help reduce swelling and pain. Other therapies that the doctor may recommend are:
• stretching the affected area
• transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
DID YOU KNOW?
Avoiding repetitive movements and overuse of tendons may help prevent tenosynovitis