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WHAT ARE TFCC INJURIES?

The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is a combination of multiple ligaments and a central disc of cartilage located on the small finger side of the wrist joint. It is especially important for stabilizing the wrist as it rotates, as when turning a doorknob. Injuries to the TFCC are common and vary in severity.

CAUSES

Most cases of TFCC injury occur due to wrist trauma including falls, wrist fractures, and sports injuries. Chronic TFCC injuries may be due to old injuries, or just progressive wear and tear over years. Certain anatomical variations may increase the likelihood of chronic TFCC tears, as seen in ulnocarpal abutment syndrome.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Clicking or popping sensations in the wrist with twisting motions
  • Pain/Tenderness/Swelling (small finger side of the wrist)
  • Sensation of instability of the wrist
  • Limited wrist motion (usually with twisting motions)

IS THERE A TEST FOR TFCC INJURES?

Your symptoms and medical history as well as an examination of your hand and wrist can help to diagnose TFCC injuries. X-rays may show associated conditions like fractures or ulnocarpal abutment, but do not show the TFCC well. MRI or wrist arthroscopy is often recommended to evaluate the TFCC and plan treatment.

TREATMENT

There are a wide variety of treatment options for TFCC injuries, and we usually begin with nonoperative measures.

Nonoperative:
Activity modifications
NSAIDs
Splinting / Casting
Steroid injections

Operative:
Wrist Arthroscopic TFCC Debridement or Repair
Small camera and instruments in the wrist joint to evaluate the TFCC
Some types of TFCC tears can be repaired arthroscopically
Some types of TFCC tears are not repairable and just debrided (shaved)
Open TFCC Repair
Open incision is required to repair some types of TFCC injury

READY TO CONFIRM A DIAGNOSIS AND FIX THE PROBLEM OR JUST WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Our Board-Certified Orthopaedic Hand and Wrist Surgeons are here to help! They can often diagnose the problem in one visit, and get you started with a treatment plan. We offer a wide variety of both nonoperative and operative treatment options.

Call today for a clinic or telehealth appointment! 854-423-4263

This content is not a substitute for expert medical advice or diagnosis and is for educational purposes only.