13 June 2012

Washerwoman's Sprain

I guess this will work...
It's been almost three months since my right wrist started being a pain and was shortly thereafter declared a sprain by my GP. It still hasn't fully recovered, despite my best hope-orientated attempts and positive thoughts. So today I followed up on my doctor's referral and saw an orthopedist. She was quick to diagnose me with de Quervain's tenosynovitis (aka gamer's thumb, washerwoman's sprain, and mommy thumb), hopefully because it was blindingly obvious and not because she was in an HMO rush. After a cortisone injection into the offending tendon and application of a humongous splint, I was out the door, with instructions to pop high-dose Aleve twice daily and wear the sprint at all times except while bathing for the next month.

Unlike the wrist brace I wore earlier, the new splint wraps over my thumb, making common movements difficult and popping up again a challenge. Still, the doctor put no restrictions on surfing, swimming or other activities, except that I have to wear this darn thing, so I can't complain! I'll do what it takes to get past this and back on track toward my goal of being a decent shortboarder.


  1. Hope it's just a small setback, or maybe a correction!

  2. Hi, I was searching around for waterproof wrist braces and stumbled upon your surfing blog. I was also recently diagnosed with either de Quervain's tenosynovitis or wrist tendonitis. Up until now, I've held off on surfing... but I've been dying to!

    So I wanted to check in with you... you mentioned surfing with a splint. Has that continued to work out fine? Hasn't affected recovery or made things worse? Right now, I'm rocking a thumb spica splint and am temped to take it out for a spin. Any thoughts/updates on this much appreciated!

    1. To be honest, my wrist feels worse since the doctor gave me a cortisone shot last Wednesday. I think it's supposed to kick in by now, but we'll see. I haven't noticed any pain or discomfort from surfing, although I think the splint's got to be having the same deleterious effect on my paddling efficiency as it does on my swimming stroke.

      Might as well give it a try, carefully. You can take further inspiration from my shaper's son, who's also surfing with a wrist brace - well enough to win the Bum Rush contest in SC! http://www.trustthebum.com/all/bum-rush-tour-santa-cruz/

    2. Also, it takes a looong time for the splint to dry, so you might want to pick up a second one. I got mine here and they shipped fast: http://www.achillesmed.com/wrist-braces/ryno-lacer.html

    3. Hey Cynthia, thanks for your feedback. Sorry to hear your wrist got worse for a moment. Mine's had good and bad days... and I haven't gotten a cortisone shot yet.

      Thought I'd also share: I came across this company EXOS that makes waterproof splints with cool graphics: http://www.exosmedical.com/products/long_thumb_spica_boa.html

      They don't sell directly in stores, so I emailed them and am waiting to hear back on how much they cost and where to get one.

      That's great with your shaper's son. Anyway, hope we both make a quick recovery. Regardless, I plan to go surfing soon!

    4. Thanks, I'll also check out the achillesmed.com link. I definitely plan to alternate between 2 splints.

    5. Those are some cool-looking splints! Hope you get back in the water soon and your recovery is fast.