Intersection Syndrome is a type of wrist tendonitis that is common in Illinois workers’ compensation claims. It is a condition in which the tendons over the back of the forearm and wrist become inflamed. We see this injury all the time in people on assembly lines who have had their pace of their work sped up. We have also helped injured factory and warehouse workers who have had the weight of the items that they handle increased significantly. It’s plainly a common injury for people who use their hands a lot on the job.


Activities that require the wrist to repeatedly move downward toward the thumb can lead to Intersection Syndrome. Irritation and swelling result from this motion that causes the muscles and tendons in the wrist to rub against one another. The tendons cannot glide easily as the inflammation progresses. In plain English, if you are using your hands in a repetitive nature, you are at risk for a variety of arm and wrist injuries including Intersection Syndrome.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common symptom of Intersection Syndrome is pain to the wrist or forearm that is aggravated by flexing or extending it. Tenderness or swelling in the forearm at the intersection point may also be present. Occasionally, people experience squeaking or creaking when moving the affected wrist.  While you can confirm you have this problem via a MRI, that is expensive and doesn’t often happen. There is a simple, in office test called a Finklestein’s exam that will give an initial diagnosis from your doctor. That opinion is usually confirmed by a quick ultrasound.


Treatment for intersection syndrome may include:

Rest: Fully rest the tendons for a period of time and use a wrist brace. Avoid activities that aggravate the symptoms.
Ice: Ice can help relieve the inflammation as the source of the pain is close to the skin, not deep in the body.
Medication: A short course of anti-inflammatory medication can reduce symptoms.
Cortisone injection: A more aggressive treatment like a cortisone shot may be recommended if the condition persists.
Surgery: In rare cases, a surgical clean-up of the tendons may be performed. Abnormally tight tissue called fascia can be released from around the tendons to prevent the condition from coming back.

Most people make a complete recovery from Intersection syndrome, but that is not always the case of course. It’s possible your doctor will give you permanent restrictions so you avoid re-injury.The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act protects you in that situation.

You may be an Amazon employee who has had felt the effects of lifting heavier packages. You may be an assembly line employee who has been expected to move your hands faster. No matter your situation with Intersection Syndrome, call us so that we can point you in the right direction and help you get the compensation you deserve. If you would like to talk to an experienced Illinois work comp attorney for free about your injury, please call us any time at 312-346-5578. We help with cases everywhere in Illinois.