A Spike in De Quervain Disease Among Volleyball PlayersProfessional volleyball players are at risk for a problem called de Quervain
disease. This study shows increased training time and repeated trauma to the wrist and base of the thumb cause chronic inflammation of the tendons.
De Quervain disease occurs when the extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) and abductor pollicis longus (APL) tendons of the thumb are involved. This is the first study to look at factors causing de Quervain disease in volleyball players.
Professional and nonprofessional players with de Quervain disease were included. Players were put into two groups based on symptoms and physical findings. Group A had mild symptoms and was treated without surgery. Group B had more severe pain and loss of motion. Group B had surgery to release the tendons. In some cases the nerve was cut to keep it from sending pain signals.
Most of Group B was made up of the professional players with increased training times. During the operation, surgeons found many changes in this group. A fibrous wall separated the two tendons in half the cases. In more than half the patients, the APL tendon had many separate tendon coverings called a tendon sheath.
De Quervain disease has been found in tennis players, video game players, and now, volleyball players. Overuse, repeated movements, and trauma are the most likely risk factors. Professional players are affected more often because of the higher number of training hours.
Costantino Rossi, MD, et al. De Quervain Disease in Volleyball Players. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. March 2005. Vol. 33. No. 3. Pp. 424-427.
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