Pain over the thumb side of the wrist is the primary symptom of De Quervain's tendinitis. The pain may appear either gradually or suddenly, and it can be felt in the wrist or forearm. The pain is usually worse with use of the hand and thumb, especially when forcefully grasping items or twisting the wrist.
Other symptoms may include:
- Swelling over the thumb side of the wrist
- A fluid-filled cyst in this region
- An occasional "catching" or "snapping" when moving the thumb.
The pain and swelling may make move the thumb and wrist difficult, and irritation of the nerve lying on top of the tendon sheath may cause numbness on the back of the thumb and index finger.