What Is the Difference between Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and De Quervain’s Tendonitis?

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Q:
What is the difference between carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervain’s tendonitis?

A:
Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the volar side of the wrist and consists of bones and ligaments.

The median nerve, which passes through the tendons of the fingers and thumb, controls the sensation and movement of the thumb and the first three fingers. When the median nerve is squeezed or compressed, numbness, stinging, weakness or pain in the hand occurs. This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome.

Pain and tingling are the main symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

De Quervain’s tendonitis

Due to the frequent movement of the thumb or wrist, the short extensor muscles and the long abductor tendon of the thumb are rubbed repeatedly in the tendon sheath of the styloid process, resulting in a sterile inflammatory reaction between the tendon and the tendon sheath.

Local exudation, edema and Fibrosis occur. The sheath wall and local tendon become thicker. Sliding of the tendon is hindered in the tendon sheath.

The clinical manifestations mainly include the swelling and pain of the styloid process. The pain becomes severe when the wrist and thumb move.

Key words: carpal tunnel syndrome; De Quervain’s tendonitis.

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