Tenosynovitis, sometimes called tendon sheath synovitis, refers to the painful inflammation of the protective lining of the fluid-filled sheath (the synovium) that covers a tendon, a band of tissue that connects a muscle to the bone.

Tendons normally slide back and forth within the synovial sheath. When the lining of the sheath becomes inflamed as the result of an injury, infection, overuse, rheumatoid arthritis or a joint disorder, it can cause pain along the tendon and difficulty in moving the affected joint.

Tenosynovitis is commonly seen in hands, wrists, fingers, feet, and other small joints, but any tendon sheath can be affected.

In the hand, the most common type of tenosynovitis is known as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis or DeQuervain’s tendinitis. It affects the tendons that attach the wrist to the thumb and help you grasp objects. Another type, called stenosing synovitis or “trigger finger,” affects the tendons that help move the fingers.

Lancaster Orthopedic Group uses state-of-the-art treatment approaches to relieve tenosynovitis and its symptoms. Depending on the underlying cause, it can be successfully treated with rest, ice or heat packs, splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, oral pain medications, and corticosteroid injections. In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure caused by the sheath.