The Triangular Fibro-cartilage Complex (TFCC) consists of ligaments and two cartilage structures known as the triangular fibro-cartilage or the radio-ulnar disk and the meniscus homolog. It is located on the ulnar side of the wrist. The TFCC helps in stabilizing the bones in the wrist, acts as a shock absorber, and facilitates smooth movements. However, the TFCC may be injured as a result of a forceful fall or during sports activities.
The cartilage and ligaments that constitute the TFCC are vulnerable to degeneration and tearing. They do not have good blood supply and hence, injuries do not heal properly.
The TFCC can tear due to wrist injury caused by fall on an outstretched hand, forceful twisting or pulling movements or during sports activities, such as swinging a bat or hitting a ball with a racquet.
- Wrist pain, particularly when moving your hand to the side of the little finger or turning the wrist to face the hand upward.
- Your wrist may feel very weak and unstable.
- Catching of the wrist or inability to produce smooth movements.
- Clicking noise when moving the wrist.
The doctor may diagnose TFCC injury by closely reviewing your medical history and examining your wrist. Imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI scan will also be recommended. An arthrogram may also be performed in conjunction with an X-ray.
Certain injuries can be treated using protective supports, such as splints or casts. The doctor may even recommend modalities such as icing, medication, or cortisone injections to relieve pain. Arthroscopic surgery is often recommended if non-operative treatments do not provide sufficient relief.
The recovery time will depend on the extent and severity of your condition, the method with which it was treated, and when it was treated. You may be required to take part in hand therapy following surgery or cast treatment.