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Tenosynovitis Claims

Tenosynovitis is an injury to the sheath covering and lubricating a tendon (the tissue that attaches muscle to bone) allowing it to move freely and smoothly. The condition usually involves some damage (tendonitis) and while its exact cause is unclear, it can result from the overuse of muscles and their connected tendons. 


Tenosynovitis is common in middle-aged adults, particularly in people who are quite sporty. Problems may be more common if your work involves repetitive movements but any activity that requires repetitive and often forceful motions of the forearm, wrist and hand combined, increases the risk of developing tenosynovitis.

So anyone from a manual labourer or construction worker to those working on an assembly line, gas fitters, electricians or warehouse operatives to office workers could be at risk of developing tenosynovitis. 

Several medications are used to treat tenosynovitis. These can include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain, corticosteroids which are injected directly into the sheath and antibiotics if the tenosynovitis was caused by a bacterial infection. Surgery may be used for severe tenosynovitis. The surgery will release the tendon and allow it to move freely. 

Your employer has a duty to protect your health and safety, especially if you are involved in repetitive, heavy manual work. They should comply with the requirements of the appropriate regulations for breaks and other preventative measures and equipment such as wrists rests for keyboards. If your employer has failed in that duty to protect you in the workplace you are well within your rights to bring a claim for compensation against them.

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How do I make a tenosynovitis claim

If you or a relative are experiencing problems which you suspect may be a result of repetitive injuries sustained at work, the first thing to do is see your GP to get a confirmed diagnosis of tenosynovitis. This is not only essential to determine what treatment and rehabilitation you might need, but also gives us a much firmer basis of a recognised and diagnosed condition on which to proceed with your claim.

The symptoms of tenosynovitis may appear only gradually, so for a claim to have any prospect of success there needs to be a viable diagnosis and a causative link between the condition and the nature of your work. There are strict time limits within which you must claim, but if successful your claim will help compensate for any loss of earnings and meet the cost of any care or future treatment and rehabilitation you may require.

It is sometimes possible to get legal advice through your trades union, which may have arrangements in place with a specified panel solicitor. You are not obliged to use the firm proposed and can ask any law firm to represent you in these cases.

However, these claims are as complex and demanding as any medical negligence or personal injury case. Whichever firm you select, is important that they specialise in this work and have good, established, relationships with the appropriate medical and other experts whose evidence will be crucial to your claim.

If I have a tenosynovitis case

The exact cause of tenosynovitis is unclear. There are variations of tenosynovitis such as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis which affects the thumb and stenosing tenosynovitis (sometimes called Trigger Finger) which usually affects either the middle finger, fourth finger or the thumb).

Symptoms include pain, stiffness, aching, swelling and an inability to straighten the affected area, or a loss of grip or strength.

Most medical authorities believe that tenosynovitis is usually caused by repetitive movements or overuse of tendons and muscles. However, it is often difficult to prove that the injury was a result of your work. Establishing causation (linking the condition to your work) is crucial in these cases.

The onus of proving that the employer was at fault rests with the injured party. However, employers are still obliged to comply with the appropriate regulations for breaks and other preventative measures and equipment such as wrists rests for keyboards. If your employer has failed to do those things, it's likely we can prove their negligence and hence make a successful claim.

More about tenosynovitis claims

Tenosynovitis is common in the tendons of the thumb (de Quervain's tenosynovitis) but the wrists, hands, and feet can also be affected. Frequently, there may be several repeated small injuries or tears to the tendon itself as well as the damage to the synovium. If these injuries continue or are left untreated, they can lead to irreversible tendon damage.

Tenosynovitis can be caused by calcium deposits near the origin point of the tendons, bacterial infection, or by adopting an incorrect or poor posture. However most medical authorities believe it is mainly due to the overuse of muscles and their connected tendons.

The problem seems to be common in middle-aged adults, particularly those who are quite sporty, but any activity that requires repetitive and often forceful motions of the forearm, wrist and hand increases the risk of developing tenosynovitis, no matter what your age.

Repetitive movements at work like lifting heavy loads or operating heavy machinery are obvious causes, but those movements need not be especially forceful. Any sort of work involving repetitive movement such as writing, typing or using a computer mouse, could cause tenosynovitis.

If a work-related task is responsible for your tenosynovitis you may be able to claim for financial losses as well as medical and rehabilitation costs. Such claims can be complicated, so it is advisable to use the services of a solicitor experienced in these cases.

Tenosynovitis Case Study


Settlement for De Quervains tenosynovitis

Our client was employed as a machine operative. His job involved handling breakfast biscuit food products once they had been cooked and packing them.

He was required to collect rolls of film from the warehouse and lift and thread this through a packing machine. The product was then placed into a skillet like the heavy cast iron pans you might see on a supermarket shelf.

Read our full tenosynovitis case study here.


Our Experts

  • Sarah Cunliffe

    Sarah Cunliffe


    Personal injury

    I am an associate working in the personal injury department.

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  • Sara Hunt

    Sara Hunt


    Personal Injury, Industrial Diseases

    I joined Access Legal Solicitors in 2008 as head of the personal injury team in Birmingham and was made a partner in 2011. I have been undertaking personal injury work for over 20 years, specialising in industrial disease claims. I only act for the victims of industrial diseases and accidents.

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  • Kate Price-Marson

    Kate Price-Marson


    Personal Injury, Industrial Diseases

    I am a solicitor specialising in industrial disease claims including noise induced hearing loss, occupational asthma, dermatitis and asbestos-related claims. In particular, I have expertise in dealing with multiple defendant claims and those where the former employer is no longer trading.

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Tenosynovitis Claims

Access legal's expert lawyers can arrange meetings to suit you over the 'phone, at one of our offices or at your home. We’ll give you free initial advice and can often pursue your claim on a no-win-no-fee basis.

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