Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC)
A wrist sprain is one of the common wrist injuries. If you are experiencing any pain on the ulnar side of the hand, your TFCC could be injured.
Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) is an important load-bearing structure composed of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage on the ulnar side of the wrist. This complex connects the ends of the forearm bones and the small bones at the wrist. It acts as a cushion between the end of the ulna and small bones at the wrist. Other functions of TFCC are to stabilize the wrist and ensure smooth wrist motion.
TFCC tear is categorized into two types:
1. FOOSH, forced hyperextension, or a violent twist of the wrist along with compression
2. Degeneration due to natural wear or overuse
Some occupations would have a higher risk of injuring TFCC, for instance, flight attendance, construction workers, especially those who constantly use power drills or other sports that would severely impact the wrist.
Patients would experience pain along the ulnar side, and difficulty with wrist extension. There could also possibly be a clicking sound while moving the wrist. Other related wrist injuries may have similar symptoms as mentioned, like FCU tendinitis. Additionally, the central portion of TFCC is avascular, meaning the poor bad supply would take longer to heal. Hence, it is critical to be diagnosed at an early stage for optimal recovery.
Treatments include splinting to limit movement, strengthening, and stretching exercises. In severe cases, some patients might require surgical treatment.