Wrist Tendonitis occurring again after DeQuervain's surgery

I'm 26 years old and about 2 1/2 years ago, my right wrist started getting really stiff and started swelling on one side. Eventually, I had to go see a doctor and was diagnosed with DeQuervain's Tendonitis. I had to wind up having surgery due to nothing else was working.

Well about 4 months ago, my left wrist started doing the same thing...and now BOTH of my wrists are the same. Now my doctor wants me to go have a NCV to rule out Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and I'm really not wanting to.

Any suggestions?


Joshua Answers:

Sure, I have plenty of suggestions, but some questions first.

1. Describe your Carpal Tunnel symptoms, in detail.

2. What do you do activity wise all day, job or hobby?

3. What -exactly- did they do when they did surgery?

4. What did you try before surgery that didn't work, exactly?

5. Say more about the 'swelling on one side'.

6. Why did you get the DeQuervain's diagnosis as opposed to anything else?

7. How is the side that had surgery now? Symptom free?

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Feb 24, 2010
PART 2 - Additional Info - Wrist Tendonitis occurring again after DeQuervain's surgery
by: Anonymous

I work in a doctor's office doing a number of different tasks...to make it short, I type and write a lot and also do EEG's.

When I started first having problems and was diagnosed with DeQuervain's on my right wrist, it was swelling on the inside of my wrist, but just along the side.

It was stiff, having these weird tingling sensations, and you could literally hear the tendons "creaking" sometimes. I tried wearing a wrist brace, taking prescribed anit-inflammatroy medications, and the last thing the physician tried was a Corticosteroid shot which made my wrist hurt so bad, I couldn't move it for at least two days.

They did surgery to release the tendon sheath so the tendons could slide more smoothly in my right wrist. And no, it is not symptom free now.

Both of my wrists are swelling on the inside of the wrist and both get really stiff as the day goes on and will start throbbing bad enough as to where I do have to take Tylenol or Aleeve to put up with it.

My physician is wanting to do the NCV test to see if it is Carpal Tunnel....he also said that the pain/swelling in the right wrist could be scar tissue from the surgery.

He also put me back on an anti-inflammatory med and told me to take B6 (which is still not helping in either wrist). I just don't want to go have this expensive NCV test done...especially if it's not Carpal Tunnel.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Feb 26, 2010
PART 3 - Wrist Tendonitis occurring again after DeQuervain's surgery
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hey Anonymous.

In no particular order:

1. All a NCV test is going to tell you is that you have reduced nerve flow.

If you have (you certainly do) tight muscles and connective tissue in the neck, chest/shoulder, forearm, wrist, then the hose of your nerve is getting stepped on to some degree.

What are they going to do if you NCV comes back 'positive'? Surgery?

Professionally, I don't think it's worth the cost/time/effort to get a NCV. You already know you have a problem.

Cutting into your hand/wrist again isn't likely to help. Your tissue has tightened up all over the area, not just where they cut. Surgery isn't going to change the reason it tightened up, and it will make the Pain Causing Dynamic worse, most likely.

2. Yes, incease in symptoms could be from the surgery. As if scar tissue development is a surprise? That's what happens when the body is cut.

A surgeon will want to do a second surgery to 'clean up the scar tissue' from the first one.

3. Ask your doctor exactly what that means if you were to have 'Carpal Tunnel'. How exactly does that explain your symptoms? What exactly would they do for it? Anti-imflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, splints, surgery?

Regardless of what one calls it, you have too much structural tightness, and that causes problems.

Suggestions, then more questions:

I suggest that you get Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook. It has a complete plan for you, covers all the bases, and saves me a lot of typing. :)

Short of that, start ice dipping as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page. That will lower pain levels.


1. How much B6 are you taking?

2. Are you taking any Magnesium?

3. Is the tendon still 'creaking', on either side?

4. Say more about the 'swelling' on each side. What does that mean/look like?

Mar 07, 2010
Wrist Tendonitis occurring again afte DeQuervain's Surgery
by: Anonymous

The swelling and pain is on the thumb side of both wrists...no where else, just there.

They haven't been "creaking", but once in a while my wrist will "pop" and I'll have a "cold feeling" in it for a while.

I have small wrists and you can tell when it's really bothering me because believe me, you can really notice the swelling!

I'm supposed to be taking 200 mg of B6 a day, but quit due to I couldn't see where it was helping and it bothered my stomach even I took it with a meal....the same with the anti-inflammatory medication.

No, I'm not on any Magnesium....to tell you the truth I hate taking pills.

I've already decided not to do the NCV (or risk surgery again if the doctor recommends it) and try the icing methods described on your website to see it will help ease the pain and swelling.


Joshua Comments:

Generally, if you take a good dose of B6 for a while and it doesn't help, then that's not the issue.

Ice dipping and Ice massage, definitely!

And even though you don't like it, get on some Magnesium. Anything but magnesium oxide. If magnesium deficiency is a factor, then you -have- to get sufficient.

And I know you hate the pain more than taking pills. :)

Mar 30, 2010
Suffering After DeQuervain's surgery
by: Anonymous

i have been suffering with De Quervain's for almost a year now, i have had 3 cortizone injections in my left wrist. i recently had surgery in feb and it has gotten worse than before i got the surgery done.

i work with pt drawing blood, ekg's, blood pressure and my surgeon told me that i could go back to work the day after my surgery... should i have rest my wrist for a couple of days? after the stitches were removed he told me to go back to work with no restrictions.

no physical therapy , nothing.... i cant go to bed at night because it hurts so bad.... what to do next.


Joshua Comments:

Your doctor told you you could go back to work (doing activities that caused the problem in the first place) the DAY AFTER surgery??!?

That's crazy.

Yes, you probably should have rested for a couple days. I mean, s/he did slice through your skin, layers of connective, possibly tendon, etc.

The nervous system DOES NOT LIKE THAT.

Assuming there are no other problems from the surgery, we can focus on your pain.

I don't know if it's different than pre-surgery, but you absolutely need to dial down the Process of Inflammation that is VERY aggravated right now.

First things first, I would learn How To Reduce Inflammation and start an intensive program of Ice Dipping, 20+ dips/day.

Wouldn't hurt to supplement with Magnesium for Tendonitis too.

Tendonitis is a progressive dynamic of increasing muscle tightness, connective tissue constriction, and inflammation.

Surgery may help temporarily, but won't reverse that process. But you can reverse it with the right self care.

Right now, get your inflammation down so you'll hurt less.

Aug 02, 2010
More numbness 13 days after surgery
by: Anonymous

I had surgery for sq on 7-21 and its been 13 days I have more numbness now than I did before.

I told my doc about it and he said " oh that's normal, don't worry about it it will go away" but the pain is also a little worse than it was to start.

Help. I get the stitches out tomorrow.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

That doctor sounds like he knows what's what.... Ask him exactly how long the numbness will remain.
Ask him why more numbness after surgery is normal.
Ask him why more numbness is created.
Ask him why the pain is worse and when it will go away.

See how specific he gets. Ask follow up questions.

Then come home and Ice Dip as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page, as many dips as possible.

Nov 12, 2011
8 months later after DeQuervain's surgery
by: Kristy


I had DeQuervain's surgery on March 14, 2011. It is now 8 months later and it still feels exactly the same it did before. Now that it is cold outside, it feels even worse.

I have had physio and OT therapy on it and still no relief. Does this mean the surgery didn't work?

Is there anything else I can do to help it?

Thank you for your time.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Kristy.

I'm not doctor, but I think it's safe to say that if symptoms are exactly the same 8 months later.

Yes, there's lots of things you can do to help it.

1. Read through this website. Understand what Tendonitis is and understand the Pain Causing Dynamic that is at the source of it all.

Learn How To Reduce Inflammation.

2. Alternately, for a specific and complete plan get my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook. It's not specific to DeQuervain's, but it's all the same thing, and you'll use the content on your forearms, wrists, and thumb/thumb pad.

Apr 04, 2013
carpal tunnel and De Qurvains release hurts more now than before
by: NK

Why am I getting worse from day 2 of surgery? Now a pain so unbearable I would rather have my arm removed.

Pain is now up my neck and causing migranes that can last up to 3 days..


Joshua Comments:

Hi NK.

Ouch, I'm sorry to hear that.

Previous comments on this thread will help answer your question.

In short, your body wasn't working optimally, you had a surgery which injures the body and seems to have aggravated the pre-existing symptoms and factors that work together to cause your original pain/problem.

Now the original problem is dialed WAY up, and your system isn't dealing with it very well (it's like your body got hit by an axe, it's reacting to the shock and the injury)

All there is for you to do is what there was to do pre-surgery, just lots more of it since your symptoms are way ramped up.

Related: Had Carpal Tunnel Surgery And Still Have Pain In My Hands

Related: Carpal Tunnel Surgery 3 On My Left 2 On My Right Wrist Pain Is Now Worse

Related: No Grip Still Five Months After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Mar 26, 2016
by: Anonymous

After my surgery I had pain for months. The doctor who did my surgery sent me to a hand specialist. He did an x-ray and found that I have arthritis on the bone in my wrist near the thumb.

My options were to have the bone taken out or deal with the arthritis.

Now 11 years later my thumb is starting to hurt again like before the surgery.

Has anyone had to have this type of surgery a second time?

Apr 16, 2017
Not DeQuervains so what is it?
by: Kevin

About 6 years ago the workers Comp doctor diagnosed me with DeQuervains.

I would have swelling and pain in both hands at the base of my thumbs maybe 1-2 times a yr. but it would go away in a week or two with rest.

I work in a warehouse and do a lot of repetitive gripping.

In January the pain and swelling started but this time it wasn't going away with rest.

The doctor was pushing the cortisone shot on me but I refused it. Even had to argue with him. After doing research I'm glad I didn't get it.

I came across your website while researching tendinitis and I bought your ebook for DeQuervains 2 weeks ago and have been following it. I didn't realize how important nutrition was and now I'm seeing improvement.

Pain went from all day everyday to only one day this week and last.

I don't know if I did something to aggravate it that day or if that's normal. I'm also now getting massages because I'm very tense all over and have been for awhile but only took muscle relaxers from the doctor.

I switched doctors and he says it's absolutely not DeQuervains since my pain is in the base of my thumbs not the top of hand. After tests it's not Arthritis. He says it's tendinitis or Joint pain but nothing definitive.

So I'm unsure how to treat this. Any advice on what it might be? Should I continue to follow the steps in your ebook or should I change some things since it's not DeQuervains?

Also is this something' that will heal or is it likely chronic? I don't want surgery so I'm hoping I heal soon so I can go back to work. Thank you for your help.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Kevin.

So...the doctor was thinking that DeQuervains is a back of the hand kind of thing and not a thumb thing?


"the pain and swelling started but this time it wasn't going away with rest."

Yeah, that's how Tendonitis works. Comes and goes, then it comes more and goes less.

"The doctor was pushing the cortisone shot on me but I refused it."

Good call!

"Also is this something' that will heal or is it likely chronic? "

Well, it's already chronic, and has proven not to be getting better but instead be over time getting worse (which is how tendonitis works).

"So I'm unsure how to treat this."

Keep with the program. I'm not sold on that it's not DeQuervains, and I'm not sure what that last doctor was thinking (DeQuervains is back of the hand pain??).

Regardless on what we call it, you have pain and other symptoms.

If it's from a repetitive motion scenario (let's go with that for the moment) and you don't have a broken bone or whatever, then you have a tendonitis dynamic (muscle and connective tissue tightness, inflammation process, and nutritional insufficiency....all working together to get progressively worse).

Whether you feel those symptoms in your thumb or the back of your hand, the causative factors are the same (tightness, inflammation, nutritional insufficiency).

Use the contact form on the site and give me a detailed update on what exactly you've been doing and where you're at with the program/recovery.

Jan 10, 2018
Is mine the same issue?
by: Anonymous

I had wrist pain for 2 years going back and forth from the doctor to physical therapy, some electric test that shocked me a dozen times, a steroid shot, when they finally decided April 2017 that i should have surgery for tendonitis.

The surgeon is the one who made this call. the doctors and nurses thought it was carpal tunnel.

They described the surgery as removing the sheath that incases my two tendons so they can move freely and not rub against each other. it worked until recently jan 2018 not even a year after the surgery and my wrist is getting that same pain. i cant put weight on it.

I always feel this uncomfortableness when i flex my hand. i cant hit the turn signal on my car without the pain. i dont and never did have tingling or swelling, my wrist popped now and before surgery, more so now, and felt creaky both before and after surgery.

Now i have this scar from surgery and no result. it was nice the 8 months i could use my wrist but now its going back and i feel there is no remedy. not another surgery, thats for sure.

I just dont know what to do. I'm 24 and feel so limited in what i can do.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

1. The surgeon cause irreparable damage. So there's that.

2. The surgery 100% ignored the actual causes of the pain and problem.

I suggest you get and work with the Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program, which shows you how to reverse the actual causes of pain/problem.

Feb 13, 2018
After De Quervain Surgery
by: Kim

Hi! I had my de quervain surgery last year September and my hand feels better, but i still get sharp tingling pain now and then...

I am a graphic designer so i use a mouse permanently. I went to a government hospital as i do not have medical aid and so the process to see a doctor is long.

I do not know what to do about the pain anymore as wearing my splint makes it worse as i can not use the mouse then taking pain killers only work for a short period of time... i try to rest my hand in the evening but it is difficult with a toddler and when i sleep my hand goes numb and tingles that I have to wake up.

Any suggestions?


Joshua Comments:

Where is the pain?

Where is the numbness/tingling?

Jul 17, 2019
Years after surgery pain creeping back
by: Anonymous

Hi, I had my right tendon release and trigger thumb release surgery in August of 2017 and my left tendon release and trigger thumb done in January 2018. For the first year my right wrist was doing great, no pain, no numbness none of the symptoms about 2 months ago (April 2019) I noticed the pain in my right wrist is getting worse and worse as the days go by. I’m needing to rely on a brave again to try to combat the pain but it’s not working. Texting hurts my wrist, writing hurts my wrist, holing a glass hurts my wrist. All the same as before. My surgeon said when he was in there he seen a lot of tenasanovium (however it’s spelled the white inflammation stuff found in DQ) he mopped it up and fixed it. I was doing really well. Now it’s July almost 2yrs after my surgery and I feel like I’m back to square 1 with the right wrist. The left wrist is still fine. Will I need to have the surgery repeated? Or joint injections again? What could be causing this pain to be reoccurring? Please help me.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

What could be causing the reoccurence? All the causes of the problem that the doctors and surgeons ignored.

Surgery isn't a magical fix. It ignores the causes of the 'problem' that surgery tries to cut out.

The tendonitis dynamic is too blame: Too tight muscle and connective tissue, inflammation process, and nutritional lack.

THese factors conspire together to push you down the downward spiral of ever increasing pain and tightness.

Surgery disrupts it for a moment, but far too often, pain comes back (as you're experiencing), because surgery 100% ignores the casues of the pain and problem.

Sep 14, 2019
De quervains a
by: Ashlee

Hi, I've been dealing with De Quervains since July of 2018. After two physical therapists, 2 cortisone shots, and seeing a specialist, I had surgery at the end of May of 2019. As this is all through work comp, I was released back to work no restrictions in July of this year.

At this time I'm no longer going to physical therapy as well.

About a week and a half ago I started to feel thumb/ upper wrist pain again. Icing it helps a little bit. I can move my hand back and forth, but currently side to side (specifically to the right) feels tight and painful.

I have not been able to weight bare without some form of pain/discomfort since prior to surgery. (My doctor told me it'd be up to a month or two before I could do that fully) at this point I'm not sure what to do and wondering if the surgery didn't work? (It was a sheath release for the tendon surgery)

Or perhaps I've gotten arthritis or something new? Just looking for ideas as I'm at a loss. (I'm 29).


Joshua Comments:

Hi Ashlee.

Please see my response to the previous comment. It's the exact same answer I'd put here.

Including: It's possible unlikely that you've gotten arthritis or something new. THat's just a way to explain 'oh, THAT's why you hurt, that other thing was something entirely separate!'

It's not separate at all. It's the factors of the tendonitis dynamic making things worse.

If you do have arthritis or something, it's just a different flavor of the same outcome...tightness and inflammation and nutriitonal lack cause all sorts of pain and problem.

Feb 15, 2021
Worse pain than before tendon release
by: Anonymous

I had tendon release surgery at the end of 2020 was told that I had "severe" arthritis. I type every day and play guitar a lot. Swelling and pain, numbness have all increased along with the development of hard lumps on both sides of the surgery scar. Please suggest treatment.


Joshua Comments:

How are things now, 2 plus years later?

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