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Tendon Sheath Steroid Injections – A Treatment Option for Tenosynovitis

Tendons are strong, flexible bands of fibrous collagen tissue that connect muscles to bones in joints. As a muscle contracts, the attached tendon transfers the resulting force to the corresponding bone, allowing the muscle to bend and straighten the joint.

Most tendons are enclosed within a protective sheath of synovial tissue. The lining of the sheath (synovium) produces fluid that lubricates the tendon and allows it to glide freely within the sheath. Through repetitive use or an injury to the tendon, muscle or bone, the synovial tissue can become irritated, which may cause it to produce insufficient lubricating fluid. The resulting friction can cause the sheath to become painfully inflamed (a condition known as tenosynovitis). Additionally, continual irritation and inflammation can lead to the development of fibrous scar tissue, which may thicken the tendon sheath and hinder the movement of the tendon.

How is tenosynovitis treated?

Treatment for tenosynovitis usually begins conservatively with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ice applications and joint immobilization with a splint or brace. Additionally, if the inflammation is not related to an infection, tendon sheath steroid injections may be considered to address severe or persistent discomfort.

Tendon sheath steroid injections combine a powerful corticosteroid medication with a local anesthetic. The mixture is administered directly into an inflamed tendon sheath. After an initial injection, a follow-up examination is usually scheduled within approximately one month. If the result is insufficient, a second injection may be administered, or surgical treatment may be discussed.

At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we provide a full range of treatment options for tenosynovitis — both conservative and surgical — to residents of Houston, TX, and surrounding areas. Our orthopedic specialists can assess your condition and develop an individualized treatment plan for you.

To learn more about tendon sheath steroid injections, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, today.