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About TFCC Ligament Tears

The TFCC ligament is commonly injured when grasping a heavy object that suddenly falls without any control. For instance, if you are taking your suitcase from the overhead bin on an airplane, you grab it, and the suitcase suddenly falls and you grip it harder so it does not land on someone else. The force of the weight at that speed, pulls on the ligament and can tear it. A tear in the TFCC ligament can cause pain on the side of the wrist closest to the little finger.

Not all tears are the same. To simplify these injuries, we divide them into “acute” and “chronic” TFCC injuries:

  • An acute TFCC injury is one that just occurred or is less than 6 weeks old.
  • Chronic TFCC injuries are persistent pain in the same region, going on for more than 6 weeks, and un-resolved with conservative treatments.

TFCC tears can heal on their own, some need splinting or injections, and some will require surgery.

TFCC tears can be seen on MRI, but be aware that not all MRI images give the same quality image, and radiologists often miss these tears. It is best to consult a hand surgeon that has experience to determine your best treatment options and whether or not you have a torn TFCC ligament.

About the Arthroscopic Repair of TFCC Ligament

The arthroscopic repair of TFCC ligament is the least invasive procedure to repair a tear in the TFCC ligament. During the procedure, a hand surgeon will use an endoscope to view the affected area. Then, the surgeon will use a hook tool to clean the area and make a smooth surface for the suturing of the torn ligament.


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