Hi- You probably have what they call DeQuervain Tenosynovitis (which is just another word for wrist tendinitis.)
DeQuervain tenosynovitis causes pain and swelling on the thumb side of the wrist. It may be difficult to open doorknobs, turn keys and grasp objects. The pain can radiate into the thumb and increases with twisting of the wrist.
This is caused by swelling of the tendons which extend the thumb. The tendons are irritated by movement and become even more swollen and painful with continued use.
Usually,Initial treatment consists of rest, modification of activity, thumb spica splint, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication and a cortisone injection.Did you go through all that? This is USUALLYsuccessful in over 60% of patients. If this fails though,surgical release will alleviate the problem. At surgery, the roof of the first extensor compartment is opened to decompress the tendons. Additional separate compartments are also released. This allows the tendons to glide back and forth freely.This is performed under local anesthesia, as same day surgery. A small soft dressing or light splint is applied to the hand. So...bottom line is that a hand surgeon isn't a bad idea but don't forget that surgeons want to cut, that's what they DO. Is it possible you didn't give conventional tretment enough time? Maybe they gave you the wrong kind of splinting...or they weren't aggressive enough initially. If you really feel you gave conventional treatment enough of a chance, then by all means see a hand sugeon. Still, just to be absolutely SURE, I'd get a second opinion from another orthopedist before ever resorting to surgery