Hand Conditions

Intersection Syndrome


Tenosynovitis (inflammation) of tendons (extensor carpi radialis brevis and extensor carpi radialis longus) and synovial membranes located on the thumb side in the second dorsal compartment of the wrist.


  • Pain and swelling on the thumb side about 4-6 cm up from the wrist joint on the dorsal (back) aspect of the wrist.
  • Often found in activities that involve repetitive wrist extension.
  • The sensation of “footprints on freshly packed snow” is the hallmark for palpating (touching) the area.


  • Likely entrapment and friction of the second dorsal compartment tendons with the first compartment tendons.
  • Tenosynovitis were the two sets of tendons intersect.



  • Rest, activity modifications, removable wrist splint, ice and NSAID’s (ibuprofen)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection


  • Indicated when non-operative treatment fails.
  • The extensor retinaculum covering the synovial membrane and tendons is incised (released).