Treating Tenosynovitis

Diagnosing tenosynovitis

If you have experienced many or all of the symptoms associated with tenosynovitis then it would be advisable for you to visit your GP who should be able to diagnose the problem. Usually there will not be any tests involved in the diagnosis as the doctor should be able to determine the condition based on talking though your symptoms and a general examination. On the rare occasion that tenosynovitis may have been caused by infection it may be necessary for your GP to suggest a blood test or if a diagnosis is not clear then your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a neurologist or rheumatologist who may suggest an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound scan of the area.

Tenosynovitis treatment

After having been diagnosed with tenosynovitis there are a range of treatments that may be offered. It is not entirely clear whether one treatment is more effective than the other so you may need to try a range of treatments in the hope that one of them cures or alleviates the condition.

You may be offered any of the following –

  • Anti inflammatory painkillers such as Ibuprofen can help to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
  • Rest is important in that the condition is usually caused by repetitive movements so it is wise to rest the area in order to allow the inflammation to settle. Sometimes a bandage or splint can be introduced to keep the affected area in the same position.
  • An ice pack could be applied to the area for short periods to help with pain relief and the reduction of swelling.
  • Surgical procedures to release the tendon are very rarely suggested.
  • If there is no infection present and the tenosynovitis persists after having taken rest then a steroid injection may be suggested.
  • If the tenosynovitis was caused by infection then a course of antibiotics will likely be offered.
  • Physiotherapy is an option if none of the above measures work, with surgery typically a last resort.

More experimental treatments to cure tenosynovitis include the use of –

  • Shockwave therapy which sends high energy sound waves into the affected area. This treatment can be painful and a local anaesthetic is often given. Shockwave therapy is still in the experimental stage to the effectiveness is still not wholly proven.
  • Autologous blood injection is the injection of blood which is taken from your body and injected into the affected tendon/s. Over several sessions that blood introduced into the injured tendon is thought to repair them. This is also an experimental procedure and a local anaesthetic will usually be offered.