The ECU (extensor carpi ulnaris) tendon can become painful and swollen from a repetitive twisting of the forearm.
The ECU tendon is one of the main muscles to move the wrist, helping it to extend and move to the side in an ulnar direction, but it also plays an important role in stabilising the ulnar side of the wrist during forearm rotation. The tendon lies in a sheath (the 6th dorsal compartment) which holds the tendon stable against the ulnar styloid. It can become inflamed within the sheath during overuse activities that require combined and repetitive wrist extension, ulnar deviation and rotation such as tennis, and golf.
Symptoms can include weakness, pain, reduced wrist motion and functional difficulties. Treatment may include splinting to rest and immobilise the tendon either with a thermoplastic wrist splint, a prefabricated splint or Wrist Widget splint. A cortisone injection may be appropriate, as may anti-inflammatory creams, medication or ice. Graded range of motion and strengthening exercises are commenced to help aid in healing and restore ulnar sided wrist stability and strength.