The Foot and Ankle Sports Institute -  - Foot and Ankle Surgeon

The Foot and Ankle Sports Institute

Foot and Ankle Surgeons & Sports Medicine Specialists located in Burbank, CA & Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA

Tendonitis in the hand, wrist, and elbow is a common problem that usually stems from joint overuse. At The Foot and Ankle Sports Institute in Burbank, West LA, and Agoura Hills, CA, the experienced specialists provide prompt diagnosis and specialized treatment of tendonitis. If you’re having chronic pain in your arm, call the office nearest you today or schedule an appointment using the online booking form.

What is tendonitis?

Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are the stretchy connective tissues that attach muscles to bones. The inflammation seen in tendonitis causes pain around a joint, swelling, and reduced function.

Tendonitis can affect any of your tendons and is a common problem in the hands, wrists, and elbows. It can sometimes be caused by an acute injury, but the most common cause is repetitive strain.

If you repeat the same movement over long periods, it puts stress on the tendon, causing irritation and inflammation to build up. The result is chronic pain that affects your ability to do your regular activities.


Tendonitis in the hand and wrist is often caused by structures called pulleys. The pulleys hold the tendon in place and allow it to glide smoothly. If these pulleys tighten and restrict the tendon, it can cause tendonitis.

What are the common forms of tendonitis?

Common forms of tendonitis affecting the hand and arm include:

De Quervain's disease

De Quervain's disease, also called De Quervain's tenosynovitis, is an inflammation of the tendons at the base of your thumb. These tendons help move your thumb away from your hand. The sheath or lining around the tendons can swell, which causes pain when you make certain thumb or wrist movements.

The pain affects your thumb on the side of your wrist. It’s worse when trying to get hold of something or making a twisting movement. Women are more likely to get De Quervain's disease than men.

Trigger finger

Trigger finger is caused by restriction and inflammation of the tendons that bend your finger where they pass through one of the pulleys in your palm. Symptoms include pain and tenderness at the base of your finger, swelling, and the finger catching or locking up.

How is tendonitis treated?

To start with, your provider at The Foot and Ankle Sports Institute is likely to take a conservative approach to treating tendonitis. Your treatment program can include:

  • Rest
  • Splints or Orthoses
  • Exercises
  • Activity modifications
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Hand therapy can often help. Your therapist gives you specific exercises to do at home that target the affected structures.

If, after these initial treatments, the pain is still there, you might need to have steroid injections to relieve the inflammation. If the injections don’t help either, you might need surgery. This could involve releasing the tendon sheath or pulley to allow the tendon to move smoothly again.

Find out more about treatments for tendonitis by calling The Foot and Ankle Sports Institute today or booking an appointment online.