Dr. Mark E. Pruzansky
Dr. Jason S. Pruzansky
975 Park Avenue New York, NY 10028

Drummer’s Tendinitis of the Wrist

Drummer’s Tendinitis of the Wrist may occur in musicians who play for long periods of time without rest, and involves an inflammation of the extensor pollicis brevis tendon that runs along the back of the wrist, closest to the thumb side.

Any repetitive action from a non-ergonomically correct position that entails repetitive movements of the thumb and wrist to the “thumbs-up” position can put strain on the long tendon to the thumb.  Tenderness, pain and tearing can occur in extreme cases.

Musicians playing any instrument in the band and orchestra can suffer from a variety of different tendinitities of the hand, wrist and forearm.  Trombone players seem to suffer the most from these overuse syndromes.

Mild cases can be treated with rest, splinting and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, whereas severe instances can necessitate Cortisone injection, or
even surgery to repair a damaged tendon or sheath.

Ergonomic analysis and improvements to the musician’s technique without detracting from their excellence may be useful to prevent future injury.   The most common nerve entrapment disorder that affects musicians is carpal tunnel syndrome, and cubital tunnel syndrome may be found, as well. Severe cases will require Carpal Tunnel Surgery.

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