Painful Wrist - TFCC
What is it?
The wrist joint is made up of the two long bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) and eight small wrist (carpal) bones.

A supportive structure called the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) connects the ulna to the carpal bones, making the joint stronger and more stable.

A TFCC injury is any injury to the disk, ligaments or tendon that make up the triangular fibrocartilage complex.

There are two types of TFCC tears:

Type 1 tears are called traumatic tears. Falling on an outstretched hand and excessive arm rotation are the most common causes.

Type 2 TFCC tears are degenerative or chronic. They can occur over time and with age. The degenerative process wears the cartilage down over time. 

Some inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, may also contribute to Type 2 TFCC tears.

An injury or tear to the TFCC can cause chronic wrist pain.
Painful Wrist - TFCC
Typically, a TFCC injury is caused by either falling down on the palm of the hand or during activities that combine firm gripping and forearm rotation, such as using a screwdriver. 
A TFCC injury may also come on gradually because of changes in the wrist joint, like those that occur with arthritis or after a bone fracture.

The symptoms of a TFCC injury include pain on the little finger side of the wrist that can worsen with gripping, moving the wrist in the direction of the little finger (such as when reaching to strike keys when typing) and forearm rotation (such as turning a doorknob). 
Loss of wrist motion, weakness of grip, swelling and wrist clicking may also occur with a TFCC injury.
Painful Wrist - TFCC
If a doctor suspects a TFCC injury exists, an MRI may be done to view the tissue. 

Some cases of TFCC injury require protection and therapy until healing occurs, while others may require surgery.

Painful Wrist - TFCC
What can Hand Kinetics do?
 A custom orthosis/ hand splint may be made to support the wrist and protect the TFCC. This is usually worn for 4 weeks to completely rest the TFCC and then a gradual weaning off the splint as more activities are introduced.

Therapeutic ultrasound also helps to allow healing ligament fibres to re-model in the correct alignment.
Painful Wrist - TFCC
At hand Kinetics we also show you how to use sports tape to off-load pressure from the TFCC to support it while you engage in your usual activities.

Hand Kinetics will also provide education on reducing pain, decreasing swelling and improving motion, strength and function of the wrist.

Please note:
If you have had arm or hand surgery please telephone to discuss this before attending. It is always helpful to bring any reports you may have if you recently attended hospital for your hand or arm condition.

Hand Kinetics Telephone: 0044 28 417 72301

15 The Avenue, Burren, Warrenpoint. Co. Down. BT34 3XJ

0044 28 4176 7238
Find us on FaceBook