How does overuse injury cause tenosynovitis?

Updated: Aug 27, 2018
  • Author: Mark R Foster, MD, PhD, FACS; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
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Overuse syndromes cause cumulative microtrauma to the tendon and tendon sheath. The protective inflammatory process paradoxically leads to tenosynovitis. [8, 9, 2, 3, 10]

In de Quervain tenosynovitis, overuse leads to thickening of the extensor retinaculum of the first dorsal compartment and narrowing of the fibro-osseous canal.

In volar flexor tenosynovitis (ie, trigger finger), overuse is thought to be the most common cause, but multiple etiologies have been identified. The triggering phenomenon is thought to be caused by hypertrophy of the first annular pulley.

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