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Extensor Tendonitis

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What Is Extensor Tendonitis?

Extensor tendonitis, also known as extensor tendinitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the extensor tendons in the body. The extensor tendons extend or straighten the joints, enabling movements like lifting the foot or straightening the fingers.

Extensor tendonitis frequently impacts tendons on the top of the foot or the back of the hand and wrist. It typically arises from repetitive stress or overuse, resulting in inflammation and microtears in the tendon fibers. Various causes and risk factors for extensor tendonitis exist, including:


Repetitive activities: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive motions of the affected tendons, such as running, jumping, typing, or playing certain sports.

  1. Poor technique or form: Incorrect body mechanics or improper form during physical activities can contribute to the development of tendonitis.
  2. Improper footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or have a poor fit can increase the risk of developing extensor tendonitis in the foot.
  3. Age and degeneration: Tendons can become more susceptible to injury and inflammation as a person ages or due to degenerative changes.

What Are The Symptoms Of Extensor Tendonitis?

The primary symptoms of extensor tendonitis include pain and tenderness in the affected area, exacerbated by activities utilizing the affected tendons. Additionally, possible symptoms include swelling, redness, and a sensation of warmth in the affected area. However, in severe cases, individuals may experience difficulty moving the affected joint.


Treatment for extensor tendonitis focuses on reducing pain and inflammation, promoting healing, and preventing further injury. Common treatment options include:

  1. Rest and activity modification: Avoiding or modifying activities that exacerbate symptoms and giving the affected tendons time to heal.
  2. Ice therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. Ice can be applied for 15-20 minutes several times a day.
  3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be used to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  4. Physical therapy: Exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected tendons, as well as techniques to improve biomechanics and proper body mechanics during activities.
  5. Splinting or bracing: In some cases, wearing a splint or brace can provide support and relieve stress on the affected tendons.
  6. Corticosteroid injections: Injections of corticosteroids into the affected area may be considered to reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief.

If symptoms persist or worsen despite conservative measures, or if there is a significant loss of function, seeking medical attention is crucial. A healthcare professional can accurately diagnose the condition, identify the underlying cause of tendonitis, and suggest suitable treatment options. Additionally, they can offer advice on preventing future episodes of extensor tendonitis and maximizing recovery.


If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Tele-medicine appointments are also available.