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What is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis? (AKA Mommy’s Wrist)

Wow! It feels like I’ve been gone for a LONG time! It have been a long month, but we are back!

If you saw my post on Instagram, you saw that I recently had surgery for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. You might know it by Mommy’s Wrist! It’s a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. Any motion such as turning your wrist, grasping anything, make a fist, or repetitive hand and wrist movement causes pains.

I first started having pain in my right wrist when I was 8 months pregnant with Alina. I was sooo swollen, I figured the pain would disappear once I had her. That wasn’t the case! It got worse. And worse. One month postpartum I decided to go to a hand and wrist doctor to see what was going on. Every time I picked Alina up, changed her diaper, or even screwed the top on her bottle, my wrist would pop (typically described as “sticking” or “stop-and-go” sensation in your thumb when moving it) and I would have a sharp pain. My option was to just put up with the pain or get a steroid shot. I opted in for the shot and a month later the pain was back. So I got another. I wasn’t allowed a third one because steroid shots in the same place can rupture your tendon. My last option was surgery.

According to Mayo Clinic, “when you grip, grasp, clench, pinch or wring anything in your hand, two tendons in your wrist and lower thumb normally glide smoothly through the small tunnel that connects them to the base of the thumb. Repeating a particular motion day after day may irritate the sheath around the two tendons, causing thickening and swelling that restricts their movement.” In the surgery to fix this condition, the small tunnel (sheath) was removed so that my tendon could glide freely without any swelling or inflammation interfering. After 10 days of recovery, I got my stitches removed. My doctor went on to share with me that he does hundreds of surgeries for this particular condition and mine was by far the worst he’d ever seen. No matter how many steroid shots I got, I would still need surgery 🤷🏾‍♀️ Mommy’s Wrist is no joke! So to recap!

(1) Risk Factors: Pregnant women or Mums with a baby

(2) Treatment Options: Steroid shots or surgery (ask your doctor about the risk of steroid shots)

(3) IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO IODINE, let the nurse and anyone else know! I slipped up and forgot to mention that important fact. I am allergic to the contrast dye used in a CT scan. It contains shellfish and iodine as well. Iodine is used before surgery to disinfect. If you don’t let anyone know, you’ll suffer from CONSTANT itching and a possible allergic reaction 😳

(3) You’ll need help, so ask for it! Recovery time is 4-6 weeks and for the majority of that time you can’t lift more than 10lbs!

(4) It’s okay to slow down! Your little one needs you back 100% so take your time to heal. Do your hand exercises and any therapy recommended!

Keep On Blossoming, Mum!

P.S. Here are a few pictures to enjoy from Pre-Op to Post!

Pre Op! I was prepped and waiting to be brought back to the operating room.

Post Op! I was greeted by my dad and Alina after surgery. All I remember was that Coca Cola they gave me was PHENOMENAL!

Recovery! I had to have a soft cast for a few days to keep the air dry and protected.

After the soft cast was removed!

Blossoming Musmie

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