BlackBerry thumb is a neologism that refers to a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI) caused by the frequent use of the thumbs to press buttons on PDAs , smartphones , or other mobile devices . The name of the condition comes from the BlackBerry , a brand of smartphone that debuted in 1999,  although there are numerous other similar eponymous conditions that exist such as " Wiiitis ",  " Nintendinitis ",  "Playstation thumb", "texting thumb",  "cellphone thumb",  "smartphone thumb", "Android thumb", and "iPhone thumb". The medical name for the condition is De Quervain syndrome and is associated with the tendons connected to the thumb through the wrist. Causes for the condition extend beyond smartphones and gaming consoles to include activities like golf, racket sports, and lifting. 
The care of the hand in the post-operative period is very important in helping to ensure a good result. Initially the aims are comfort and elevation. These are met by keeping the hand up (elevated) especially in the first few days and by use of a long acting local anaesthetic (Bupivicaine). The local anaesthetic lasts at least 12 hours and sometimes 48 hours. Patients should start taking painkillers before the pain starts . on return home or whilst still in hospital and for at least 24 hours from there. This way most of our patients report little or any pain.
The patient is reviewed in clinic after within 2 weeks of the operation. Typically dissolvable stitches are used so they should not require to be removed. A splint may be provided by the physiotherapists particularly following joint replacement. Careful follow up is required to ensure a successful result with good relief of pain and a good range of movement.
The hand can be used for normal activity after the first few days. Wrist movement will depend upon the scale of the operation. Typically most of the movement gained following surgery occurs in the first 6 weeks but the wrist seems to be more forgiving and will regain movement quite late (even after several months) nonetheless early movement is encouraged where appropriate. The key is regular long gentle stretches both into straightening and into bending. Ideally these should be performed for 5 mins in each direction (feeling the stretch but without pain) once an hour. In practical terms most people mange 5-6 times a day. Elevation and icing the elbow also help reduce swelling and thus pain and improve movement.
Most patients can drive after a 1-2 weeks following arthroscopy or denervation, and 6-8 weeks following the larger operations. Most patients return to work following arthroscopy or denervation in 2-3 weeks, but this varies with occupation; heavy manual work usually takes about 6 weeks. Following the larger operations patients return to light work in 6-8 weeks and heavy work not before 3 months if ever.
The scars should be massaged by the patient 3 times a day with a bland soft cream for 3 months once the wound is well healed (typically after 2 weeks). This reduces the scar sensitivity which can be a nuisance.
Mark, just to save you some time in your reply I want to update you on my condition. Thanks to your brilliant internet diagnosis–and I don’t mean that sarcastically–I think I’m on my way to getting this thing fixed. After reading your reply the other day I did a little online research and came to the conclusion that I have tendonitis. I watched some videos on youtube showing some stretching and self-massage techniques and after only a day of trying them I already notice some improvement (snapping isn’t as frequent). If you know of anything else that might help I’d love to hear it.
By the way, you should give yourself a big pat on the back for figuring out what was wrong with me. I was examined IN PERSON by a chiropractor and an orthopedist and they apparently had no clue what was going on. (I guess they’re just boneheads–pun intended lol) Anyway I REALLY appreciate your help with this. It’s very kind and generous of you to take time out of your busy day and help complete strangers for free (I mean, I think it’s free. Will I be billed for this? lol)