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BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2013 Jun 3;5:13. doi: 10.1186/2052-1847-5-13.

Extensor Pollicis Brevis tendon damage presenting as de Quervain's disease following kettlebell training.

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Upper limb unit, King's College Hospital, London SE59RS, UK.


Kettlebell exercises are more efficient for an athlete to increase his or her muscle strength. However it carries the risk of injury especially in the beginners. A 39 year old gentleman came to our clinic with radial sided wrist pain following kettlebell exercises. Clinically patient had swelling and tenderness over the tendons in the first dorsal wrist compartment, besides Finklesten test was positive. Patient had a decreased excursion of the thumb when compared to the opposite side. Ultrasound/MRI scan revealed asymmetric thickening of the 1st compartment extensors extending from the base of the thumb to the wrist joint. Besides injury to the Extensor Pollicis Brevis (EPB) tendon by repetitive impact from kettlebell, leading to its split was identified. Detailed history showed that the injury might be due to off-centre handle holding during triceps strengthening exercises. Our report stresses the fact that kettlebell users should be taught about problems of off-center handle holding to avoid wrist injuries. Also, in Kettlebell users with De Quervains disease clinical and radiological evaluation should be done before steroid injection as this might lead to complete tendon rupture.

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