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This is a common condition that affects the tendons that are used to straighten (extend) your thumb. The most common causes are overuse of the affected tendons and wrist trauma. Rest of the affected tendons may be all that is required in some cases. Other treatments include pain relief, physiotherapy and steroid injections. If these measures fail surgical release is possible.
The typical symptom is pain over your wrist at the base of your thumb that is made worse by activity and eased by rest.
Conservative management by:
If symptoms persist for more than a month, offer steroid injection (see 6.3.2 Glucocorticoid therapy), which may relieve the pain in about 70% of cases.
If symptoms persist after 6 weeks, review diagnosis / consider a second injection.
Symptoms persisting beyond four months and failed conservative management consider surgery.
Symptoms persisting beyond four months despite conservative management including a maximum of two steroid injections, refer for surgery.
Refer to the Hand Clinic (Orthopaedics/Plastics) using the e-Referral Service
This guideline has been signed off on behalf of the South Devon & Torbay CCG.
Publication date: March 2017