Conditions & Treatments
Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Injury - Wrist Sprain
IntroductionThe Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) is a structure that is made of cartilage and ligaments. It is located on the ulnar side of the wrist (side toward the little finger). The TFCC stabilizes the bones in the wrist, acts as a shock absorber and enables smooth movements. The TFCC may be injured during a fall, sports, or on the job. An injured TFCC causes pain and may produce a clicking noise when the wrist is moved in certain ways. TFCC injuries are treated with anti-inflammatory and pain medication, splinting, casting, or surgery.
AnatomyThe TFCC is located on the ulnar side of the wrist. It consists of ligaments and two cartilage structures called the triangular fibrocartilage (also referred to as the radioulnar disk) and the meniscus homolog. Ligaments are strong tissues that connect bones. Cartilage acts as a cushion and is a smooth surface for the bones in the wrist joint to glide on during movement. The TFCC stabilizes the radiocarpal joint, the distal radioulnar joint, and the ulnar carpus.
It is common to participate in hand therapy following surgery or cast treatment. At first your wrist and fingers may feel stiff and sore from being immobilized. Your therapist will move your joints to improve your circulation, reduce swelling, and ease discomfort. You will learn exercises to regain movement, strength, flexibility, coordination, and function of your wrist. Initially, you may need to wear a supportive splint during your daily activities to optimize your hand positioning during tasks. Your therapist can also make recommendations on how to protect your joints during activities or job duties to prevent future injuries.
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.