Tenosynovitis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is tenosynovitis?
Tenosynovitis is inflammation of the tendon sheath that surrounds a tendon. Tendons are the cords that join muscle to bone. Tendon sheath is a layer of the synovial membrane around a tendon. This condition is also called inflammation of tendon sheath.
Tenosynovitis is a painful condition, which typically leads to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The hands, wrists, ankles, and feet are often affected.
What causes tenosynovitis?
Injury, repetitive use, and infection are the common causes of tenosynovitis. Sometimes, the cause of the inflammation may not be known.
The following are the common causes of tenosynovitis:
- Diseases that cause inflammation
What are the symptoms of tenosynovitis?
The following are the common symptoms of tenosynovitis:
- Pain and tenderness around the joint
- Joint swelling in the affected area
- Pain when moving the joint
- Redness along the length of the tendon
- Difficulty moving the joint
How is tenosynovitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and review the symptoms. The exam includes touching and stretching the tendon. The doctor will ask you to move the joint to see if it’s painful.
How is tenosynovitis treated?
The treatment of tenosynovitis focuses on relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Treatment may include rest, stopping activities, pain medicines, ice, and/or joint immobilization. In severe cases, treatment may include corticosteroid injections or surgery.
Tenosynovitis caused by infection needs to be treated with antibiotics right away.
Your doctor may recommend the following treatment:
- Using a splint or a brace to immobilize the affected tendon
- Applying heat or cold to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injection to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
- In severe cases, surgery to remove the pus and reduce inflammation around the tendon
- Physical therapy after recovery to help prevent the condition from coming back.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.