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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Taylor

"Understanding TFCC Injuries: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options"

The TFCC or Triangular Fibrocartilage complex is a structure in the medial wrist which allows for rotation and stability of the wrist.

It is a weight-bearing structure which means that it can be injured with repetitive load and is one of the most common injuries in which Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists themselves suffer due to the repetitive nature of their work. It is also commonly injured following a fall on an outstretched hand.

The TFCC also provides stability during ulnar deviation (think of the movement needed at the wrist when using a hammer). Therefore repetitive movement in this motion like cooking, swinging a racket or bat or even playing the drums.

Common Symptoms of TFCC injuries:

  • pain at the wrist (usually on the pinky finger side)

  • clicking or catching

  • difficulty with weight-bearing activities like push ups

  • feeling of instability

Treatment options:

  • Conservative management

    • Most TFCC injuries will resolve with 6-12 weeks of physiotherapy including:

      • Splinting for rest

      • Exercises to strengthen wrist extensors especially Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

      • Grip strengthening exercises

      • Advice and education around repetitive postures

  • Surgical Mangement

    • Some severe TFCC injuries will require surgical management called a TFCC debridement in which case you will be resting in a splint for at least 8 weeks post op then go on to complete a comprehensive physiotherapy rehabilitation program

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