What is included in the treatment of inflammatory flexor tenosynovitis due to overuse syndrome?

Updated: Aug 27, 2018
  • Author: Mark R Foster, MD, PhD, FACS; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
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Answer

The mainstay of therapy for FT caused by overuse syndromes is cessation of the insult by modification of activity. Therapy also includes the following:

  • Icing and elevation of the affected area
  • Administration of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) if tolerated by the patient
  • Consideration of a short course of oral steroids
  • Administration of flexor tendon sheath or carpal tunnel corticosteroid injections to decrease pain and the inflammatory response
  • Splinting - If utilized, splinting should be limited in area to a pain-free ROM
  • Rehabilitation - Slow rehabilitation prevents reinitiation of the inflammatory phase

Use caution with corticosteroid injections, as they are detrimental if injected directly into the tendon or ligament. Multiple injections also can weaken the tendon and lead to rupture in patients with diabetes or inflammatory arthritis. Therefore, corticosteroid injections should be used judiciously, especially in patients with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Also, the use of injectable or oral steroids is contraindicated if infectious FT has not been completely ruled out.


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