Spine & Orthopedic Pain Centers

Hand Pain

De Quervain’s Tendinitis

This is also called de Quervain’s tendinosis. It causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist.

The pain may develop gradually or start suddenly. It can travel the length of the thumb and up the forearm.

If you have de Quervain’s tendinitis, it can be painful to:

  • Make a fist
  • Grasp or hold objects
  • Turn your wrist

The pain results from irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. Repetitive activities and overuse are often responsible for de Quervain’s.

New mothers can get it from holding their baby in an awkward position. Wrist fractures can also make you more likely to get de Quervain’s.




A fracture, or a break in a bone, can cause a great deal of hand pain.

Besides pain, after a fracture you may have:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of movement

If you have fractured a finger, for example, you may not be able to move it fully. Your injured finger could be swollen and in some cases slightly shorter than usual.

There are several types of fractures:

  • Simple (broken bone is aligned and stable)
  • Complex (break may cause bone to shift or become displaced, making treatment more difficult)
  • Comminuted (bones broken in more than one place)
  • Compound (broken bone breaks through skin)



This is a leading source of hand pain. The joints lose cartilage.  As the cartilage deteriorates, painful, sometimes debilitating, swelling begins to occur.

In the hand, the areas where this most often occurs are the:

  • Base of the thumb
  • Middle joint of one or more fingers
  • End joint, which is closest to the fingertip

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes progressive degeneration of cartilage. It can happen with aging or following an injury, such as a fracture or dislocation.

It causes:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

Bony nodules may also form at the middle or end joints of the fingers. Osteoarthritis can also cause deep, aching pain at the base of the thumb. The hand may also become weaker, making everyday activities difficult.



Trigger Finger

Doctors call this stenosing tenosynovitis. It causes fingers or the thumb to lock in a bent position. It can be painful, especially when you bend or straighten the affected finger or thumb.

The condition develops when the flexor tendons (the ones that allow the joints to bend), which control the movements of the fingers and thumb, become irritated. This can make them thicken within the tendon sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons.

Nodules may also form on the affected tendons. The tendon sheath itself may thicken, too.

All of this prevents the smooth movement of the tendons. Eventually, the tendon may become stuck when you try to straighten a bent finger or thumb. You may also feel a catching sensation when the finger or thumb locks in place, and then a pop as the tendon is released.

Doctors don’t know what causes trigger finger.

You’re more likely to get it if you have:

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