Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the sheath that surrounds a tendon, the thick cord that connects muscle to bone. The sheath protects the tendon, allowing it to stretch and preventing it from rubbing against the surrounding tissue. When the tendon sheath is inflamed, it causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Tenosynovitis appears in two forms: infectious and noninfectious. The condition is also referred to as tendon sheath inflammation and is typically the result of injury or overstraining the tendon. An inflammatory joint disorder is another cause of tenosynovitis.
The most common cause of tenosynovitis is an injury to the tendon or the surrounding muscle or bone. Any repetitive activity may contribute to such injuries, like weight lifting, jogging, typing, knitting, carpentry, gardening, or assembly line work. Tenosynovitis occurs most frequently in the hands, wrists, and feet. Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes may also contribute to tendon sheath inflammation.
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