Tenosynovitis: Symptoms and Treatment

Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue envelopes surrounding the tendon that occurs in acute and chronic form.


The development of tenosynovite is facilitated by the following factors:

  • injuries and injuries. If, as a consequence, infections enter the human body, the probability of the appearance of tenosynovitis is significantly increased. In addition, injuries and injuries can lead to a complete or partial rupture of the synovial vagina, and then the course of the disease becomes heavier and more dangerous
  • weakened immunity;
  • rheumatic ailments
  • degenerative processes in the joints. Changes often affect the tendons that attach to the muscles nearby;
  • the impact of some strains of bacteria and viruses
  • advanced age. Tenosynovitis can appear in a person of any age, but still older people suffer more often. The thing is that the nutrition of the articular tissue worsens with age
  • Excessive loads. Even a person who does not lead an active lifestyle can get tenosynovitis if he regularly strains certain joints.


All tendon inflammations are divided into the following types:

  1. stenosing tenosynovitis. This disease is also called tendovaginitis of the elbow, knee, ankle, hip and other joints. Most often, the anatomical formation of the long abductor of the thumb is inflamed, that is, the tendons with which you pull your finger aside. In addition, the disease affects the short extensor of the thumb. As a result of the inflammation of the joint, the movement of the thumb is limited. If tenosynovitis flows into a chronic form, then on the shells of the joint and tendon appear scars. If a person does not begin treatment, then soon the joint is blocked. By the way, this form of ailment is manifested most often in women
  2. TB tenosynovitis. This ailment appears against the background of the defeat of the body with a tubercle bacillus. This form affects the synovial sheath of carpal tendons. The hand swells, and the movement of the fingers is limited. Surprisingly, this kind of illness passes painlessly. In most cases, the disease occurs in people over 18 years old
  3. inflammatory chronic tenosynovitis. The process of this form is similar to that of tuberculosis tenosynovitis. As a result of this ailment, rheumatoid arthritis often appears. The specialist can make an accurate diagnosis only after the analysis of the effusion (for the detection of bacterial flora).

There is a classification of the disease at the location of the inflammation. The most common tenosynovitis:

  • Ankle joint
  • knee joint
  • elbow joint
  • hip joint
  • Wrist joint (De Carven’s disease)
  • long biceps head.


In most cases, the disease develops slowly, so a person does not even pay attention to unpleasant sensations in the limbs. In fact, you need to immediately contact the doctor at the appearance of the first symptoms, because if you do not start right treatment in time, you can forget about the full life forever (the joint can simply be blocked):

  1. swollen tendons that can be detected by palpation
  2. the inability to carry out movements;
  3. pain during the operation of the affected muscle group and individual tendons
  4. severe redness throughout the tendon.

The signs and mechanism of the development of the disease also depend on where the inflammation actually appeared:

  • the ankle’s disease. In this case, the tendons themselves look normal, but inside the tissues that surround them, there is liquid. Often an inflammation of the ankle is a consequence of rheumatoid arthritis or a mechanical effect on the tendon. In this case, a person suffers from pain that occurs in the posterior, middle, or anterior part of the foot. In some cases, inflammation of the ankle may manifest unpleasant sensations in the entire foot. As a rule, pain increases with prolonged standing or, on the contrary, long walking. In some cases, tenosynovitis of the ankle arises due to flat feet. If the pain is very burning, then it has a neurogenic character. In some cases, unpleasant sensations in the ankle joint area result from pain in the spine. Then the discomfort increases after tension and / or lifting of the straightened leg;
  • Inflammation of the knee joint. If the knee sharply increases in volume, immediately consult a doctor. This is a sure sign of inflammation of the knee joint. This phenomenon is due to the formation of a special fluid in the joint bag, the amount of which increases during irritation of the synovial membrane. This fluid causes tenosynovitis of the knee joint, as a result of which the free movement of the foot is greatly complicated. As a rule, the pain in the knee joint is insignificant and blunt. If the disease flows into a sharp form, then the person begins to experience acute pain;
  • damage to the long bicep head. This disease is also called tenosynovitis of the biceps. Most often, this disease affects swimmers and tennis players, that is, people engaged in this kind of sport, which requires repeated execution of movements with the hand over your head. Inflammation of the long head of the biceps appears as a consequence of the overstrain of the biceps muscle, and it is localized in the upper-anterior humeral region. Sometimes this disease passes to the tendon of the elbow joint
  • De Carven’s disease. This ailment is the result of an overload of the thumb or wrist. Inflammation can appear not only in people who constantly strain their hands due to their professional activities (seamstresses, pianists, loaders, locksmiths), but also housewives and summer residents. In the latter case, de Kerven’s disease occurs due to a hand injury. Often the disease develops very slowly, so a person postpones a visit to a doctor and does not begin a full-fledged treatment. If de Kerven’s disease is caused by a trauma, the inflammation manifests itself very quickly. In this case, the danger lies in the fact that the treatment of a person for a long time is aimed at getting rid of the symptoms of a bruise, and specialists can simply not notice that the ailment has long passed into the tenosynovitis de Cerven.

The main symptom of the progression of this inflammation is pain in the base of the base of the thumb and under it, as well as at the edge of the wrist joint. In some cases, unpleasant sensations spread to the elbow or even to the shoulder. The nature of pain in the de Broken disease in all patients is different. Some people complain of aching pains of a persistent nature, while others experience discomfort only with active movements.


In order to inflammation of the knee, ankle, wrist (de Carven’s disease) or the elbow joint did not lead to unfortunate consequences, it is necessary to conduct timely and competent treatment. The method of therapy depends on the type of disease and place of its localization:

  1. Medication. This treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Weakening the inflammatory process, pharmacological agents lead to a decrease in edema and a decrease in the pain syndrome. Remember that self-treatment can not yield any results (or even lead to complications);
  2. physiotherapy. This method aims to accelerate the metabolism in the inflamed zone. Specialists use such methods: laser and magnetic therapy, ultrasound and ultraviolet, electrophoresis. In some cases, therapeutic massage is used;

  3. puncture of the joint. If chronic tenosynovitis is progressing, then specialists choose this method of treatment. The doctor removes from the joint excess synovial fluid, as well as everything that is formed due to inflammation. In some cases, hormonal agents that stop inflammatory processes are introduced into the affected area.