TFCC Ligament Tear

Overview

TFCC or triangular fibro cartilage complex is a group of ligaments on the little finger side (ulnar side) of the wrist. Wrist is a joint comprising of 8 small bones which are connected with 2 bones of forearm and 5 bones of the hand. Hence there are a lot of ligaments in the wrist to hold the bones together. The TFCC ligament is important in rotational stability and in restraining the radial (thumb side) deviation of the wrist.  

 

Why & how does TFCC Ligament injury happen?

 

TFCC ligament injuries are commonly seen when the boxing, 2 wheeler weight coming on the hand and in barbell workouts. Sudden radial (thumb side) deviation of the wrist is often the reason for the TFCC ligament injury.

 

Who gets TFCC Ligament injury?

It is common in weight training, boxers, MMA, bikers. It is also seen in people with prolonged use of key boards (Repetitive strain injury).

Symptoms

  • Sudden pain

  • In some loud POP sound

  • Minimal swelling

  • Pain worsening in certain movements of the wrist

When to seek medical help?

Initial assessment and x-ray are usually necessary. Pain relieving medicines, RICE therapy are sufficient as an immediate remedy. Further assessment by a Sports Orthopedics Surgeon is necessary to analyze the extent of injury.

​What happens when I visit the Consultant?

You will be asked about the nature of injury, symptoms further to that so far. Consultant will examine you and discuss the treatment modalities. In majority of cases, MRI scan wouldn’t be required in the initial assessment. With simple treatment with proper brace immobilisation and supporting medication majority of these injuries heal naturally within 4 to 6 weeks. In those with poor signs of healing by 3 weeks, may need MRI scan and further management.