What is a TFCC injury

A supportive structure called the Triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) holds the ulna bone to the wrist bones, and is important for the stability of the wrist. A TFCC injury is an injury to the ligaments or disc that make up this complex on the lateral (little finger) side of the wrist. It is typically caused by a fall on to the palm of the hand or from activities that include tight gripping and twisting e.g using a screw driver.  It can also come on gradually due to changes in the wrist.

What do I feel?

  • Pain on the little finger side of the wrist when gripping, moving towards that side with the hand, when twisting or weight bearing through the hand
  • Lost of wrist movement and weakness
  • Sometimes clicking might occur

What can I do?

  • RICE- Rest, Ice, compression and elevation can help initially.
  • Anti inflammatory medication can help initially.
  • Seek advice from a Hand therapist or your doctor

What can this also be?

  • Tendonosis of the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU)
  • Arthritis
  • Fracture
  • Mid carpal instability
  • Nerve pain

What is the treatment for a TFCC injury?

  • Your hand therapist will initially assess your wrist which may include imaging
  • You may require a splint to protect the TFCC to allow healing to occur.
  • You will then start a rehabilitation programme that may involve education, strengthening and activity modification
  • For severe cases an MRI may be required, and a decision regarding steroid injection or surgery will be made together with an orthopaedic surgeon.

Book an appointment see our specialist Hand Therapists who are experts in the treatment of hand and upper limb injuries.