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How did De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis get its name?


The name De Quervain Tenosynovitis originated in 1895 from Swiss surgeon Fritz de Quervain, who diagnosed five patients with thickened and tender wrists.

The disease then took on his name as De Quervain Tenosynovitis, which it has been known as ever since. It has also been known under numerous titles, including De Quervain’s disease and De Quervain’s syndrome.

De Quervain thyroiditis was also named after Fritz de Quervain but is an entirely different condition.

De Quervain Tenosynovitis is caused by repetitive motions that strain the tendon sheaths in the wrists. The tendons and their sheaths become swollen and painful, making movement difficult.

Due to the nature of the disease and common causes, it is also known under the following names:

BlackBerry Thumb: This is due to the BlackBerry phone, where the owners will use the same motion repeatedly to search the internet or send a text message.

Gamers thumb: This name comes from the many hardcore gamers, who will play video games for hours. The repetitive motion used while gaming with a games console controller or handheld device can cause De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.

Washerwoman’s sprain: Named this because of the motion used when hand washing clothes. The washerwoman would repeatedly rub the clothes up and down the washboard.

Mother’s wrist: Mothers suffer from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis because they are continually lifting children in and out of car seats and strollers. This motion puts a strain on the wrists that can lead to the tendons becoming swollen.

Texting thumb: With the introduction of the mobile phone, texting has become a part of everyday life. The constant movement of the thumbs while texting is known to cause De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is one of the most common types of tendon inflammations. Thankfully it can be easily treated, and a full recovery is likely.

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