Radial tenosynovitis treatment aims at relieving pain and inflammation while moving your thumb. Similarly, the treatment should prevent the occurrence of this condition. Hence, you may first undergo the following conventional methods listed below:
Home treatment – R.I.C.E. formula
- Rest your wrist frequently, and don’t do anything that may worsen your pain, like holding or moving your thumb and fingers repetitively. Avoid activities that may irritate your tendon.
- Ice the injured area to reduce inflammation.
- Compression: Wear an elastic compression bandage to prevent swelling and inflammation.
- Elevation: While resting, place your wrist on two pillows while sitting or lying down.
Physical therapy and splint
Wear the splint to hold your wrist and thumb firmly. You can wear it round-the-clock for 4-6 weeks. You will be doing specific physical therapies provided by your physiotherapist to strengthen your arm, hand and wrist.
Your physician will prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease your pain and swelling.
Physicians may recommend steroids in case if medications don’t work.
However, the administration of medications and steroids for a prolonged duration may lead to severe complications. Hence, your physician will never recommend them for a longer duration.
If all the above-listed modalities don’t provide any significant improvement, your physician may recommend surgery. The surgical method is comparatively successful at resolving this ailment. Surgery aims at releasing your tendon sheath. By doing so, the tendon will move smoothly. It is a same-day outpatient procedure, and you can go home within a few hours after the completion of surgery. Your stitches will be removed in 10-14 days. The pain and inflammation may subside immediately after the surgery. However, the surgical area may remain tender for a few months.
Furthermore, you will have to undergo post-surgical physical therapy that includes wrist and thumb strengthening exercises. You will be continuing these exercises for 6-8 weeks. You will also undergo stretches to move your tendons properly.
According to the research article published in the year 2003, surgery was performed to release tendons of the wrist’s first dorsal compartment. And what was the outcome? This surgery proved to be 96% successful among patients with radial tenosynovitis. They recovered entirely from the associated radial tenosynovitis symptoms.*