If your work or hobbies involve repetitive movement of the hand or arm, you may be at risk of developing tendonitis in your elbow or wrist. This common tendon disorder is characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness. The condition requires timely treatment to accelerate recovery and prevent complications.
Many people can treat tendonitis at home; however, chronic cases require a visit to a specialist. At Cayman Islands Surgery Center, Dr. Ebanks can diagnose and offer several treatment options for tendonitis, including conservative treatment such as splinting and cortisone injection or surgery.
Tendonitis, also known as tendinitis, is inflammation of the tendons. Tendons are connective tissues that attach muscles to bone. Any tendon can be affected by tendonitis, but this condition usually affects elbow,wrist and finger tendons. When there is no inflammation but rather a degeneration of the tendon, the condition is referred to as tendinopathy. Symptoms of tendonitis appear in and around the injured tendon, and include:
- Dull pain that gets worse with movement
- Pain to the touch (eg. over the wrist bone when you suffer from De Quervain's tendinitis)
- Swelling, heat and redness
- Stiffness of the affected joint
- Feeling a gap in the tendon in case of ruptures
- Triggering of fingers (catching of swollen tendons and inability to open or close the fist normally)
Symptoms may last from a few days to several weeks or even months without prompt treatment. Tendonitis is usually a result of repetitive use of a joint, but it can also appear after an injury. That is why the condition is often seen in those who perform manual labor and athletes. Certain underlying conditions can put you at risk of tendonitis, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Because tendonitis often does not resolve on its own, it is essential to take measures to prevent worsening of symptoms and jumpstart recovery. If you are in a lot of pain, have trouble moving the affected limb or see no improvement in your symptoms after a couple of weeks, it is important to seek help from a professional.
- 1Avoid moving the affected tendon for a couple of days if possible. Wearing an elastic bandage or splint can help you with this. You should find these in most pharmacies.
- 2In the first few days of treatment, apply an ice pack for twenty minutes every two to three hours to help reduce swelling. After a couple of days, when the acute inflammation has subsided, you may find that applying heat to the area to increase blood flow is helping you move easier. You can use heating pads, hot water bottles or take a hot bath for this.
- 3Use over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or aspirin to manage discomfort. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory cream or gel is a great alternative to oral pain medication in some cases.
If your symptoms do not diminish with these treatment efforts or if you are experiencing significant discomfort in a tendon, you should seek help from a specialist.
Dr. Ebanks is experienced in treating tendonitis in the hand, the wrist and elbow. She can help you find relief from the swelling, inflammation and discomfort of tendonitis through one of these modalities:
One of the keys to successfully treat and cure acute tendonitis is proper immobilization. Dr. Ebanks may prescribe you a splint you can buy in most pharmacies or apply a custom made splint for more stubborn cases.
Also known as cortisone shots, these injections provide short-term pain relief from tendonitis and may cure your condition altogether, however recurrence rate is high. They contain cortisone, a medication that gradually reduces swelling, and a local anesthetic that provides immediate pain relief.
Dr. Ebanks may refer you to a physical therapist who will guide you on how to move to help with recovery and avoid future problems. Massages may also be part of physical therapy for tendonitis.
Hand or wrist tendonitis surgery is sometimes necessary to treat severe, recurring or chronic cases. During this type of surgery, the surgeon removes damaged tendon tissue or releases pulleys that are abnormally thick and compromise the normal movement of the tendon to allow them to move more freely again.
As a general surgeon who has a special interest in the surgical treatment of hand diseases, Dr. Ebanks has the necessary experience in operating on tendonitis patients in state-of-the-art hospitals in the Cayman Islands.
Tendon surgery can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Recovery after these procedures usually takes two weeks until most normal activities can be resumed, even though full recovery can take up to twelve weeks, and it can take up to six months of healing before you can experience a full range of movement if your mobility was compromised already before the surgery.
Make an Appointment at Cayman Islands Surgery Center
If you are experiencing swelling, stiffness and pain due to possible tendonitis, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tanja Ebanks at Cayman Islands Surgery Center. Dr. Ebanks is a general surgeon who has a special interest in hand surgery and has years of experience treating hand disorders, including tendonitis. She will carefully assess your condition and find the treatment options that will restore your comfort and mobility. Please contact Cayman Islands Surgery Center today at +1 345 946 0067 to book your appointment. You can also fill out our online contact form to receive a callback at a more convenient time. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at email@example.com.
What are the risk factors for tendonitis?
Anyone can get tendonitis, but the condition is more common in adults over 40 years old. That is because tendons lose their elasticity with age and become prone to injury. People with jobs or hobbies involving repetitive motions are also at risk. Diabetes may play a role.
How do you diagnose tendonitis?
In most cases, a general practitioner or specialist can give you a diagnosis through a simple physical examination. Occasionally, you may need to do an ultrasound, X-ray or MRI scan so your doctor can confirm the diagnosis.
I think I have tendonitis. What should I do?
If you believe the swelling, pain and discomfort you are experiencing is due to tendonitis, contact your doctor as soon as possible. You can also make an appointment with Dr. Ebanks directly. Waiting too long to treat tendonitis can result in greater damage to the tendons and surrounding tissues. For an appointment, please contact our practice at +1 345 946 0067.
Are cortisone injections good for tendons?
Cortisone injections usually provide immediate relief from tendonitis pain and can cure you from it entirely. However recurrence rates are high and they are not a good option long-term since there is evidence they may weaken tendons and even cause rupture when used in excess.
What are the risks associated with tendon release and repair surgery?
Tendon release surgery for Trigger finger or De Quervain’s tendinitis are usually very successful, however some potential risks of having tendon repair surgery for degenerative changes include excess scar tissue that prevents normal joint movement and recurrence of tendonitis.