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Contributors: Peter Joo MD, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Abhijeet Waghray MD
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Tenosynovitis is characterized by the inflammation of both the tendon and synovial sheath. Typically, the hands and wrists are affected, but tenosynovitis may be found with any joint. The etiology includes infection, trauma, inflammatory disease, and strain / overuse. Less commonly, it may be associated with a medication. Infection can be caused by staphylococci, streptococci, gonococci, Mycobacterium avium, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tenosynovitis has also been reported in association with Vibrio vulnificus infection related to traumatic injury in the setting of saltwater fishing. Infection may occur after a wound, puncture, or bite.

Trigger finger, or stenosing flexor tenosynovitis, is one of the most common causes of hand pain in adults, and its pathogenesis is often idiopathic.

Signs and symptoms include joint pain, difficulty moving a joint, a slightly flexed finger at rest, edema, and muscle tenderness. Infectious etiologies will include erythema and fever.

Treatment depends on etiology and includes antibiotics, steroid injection, and possibly surgery.

Related topic: de Quervain disease


M65.9 – Synovitis and tenosynovitis, unspecified

67801009 – Tenosynovitis

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Last Reviewed:05/06/2019
Last Updated:09/08/2021
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Clinical image of Tenosynovitis - imageId=6169969. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Erythema over the wrist, secondary to gonococcal tenosynovitis.'
Erythema over the wrist, secondary to gonococcal tenosynovitis.
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