Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injury (TFCC)

The Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) is a structure that is made of cartilage and ligaments. 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 on an outstretched hand. 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.

Symptoms of TFCC

  • TFCC injury causes wrist pain, particularly when moving your hand to the little finger side or turning the wrist to face the hand upward
  • Your wrist may feel week and unstable.
  • Your wrist may catch or not be able to produce smooth movements.
  • You may hear a clicking noise when you move your wrist.

TFCC Treatment Options

The treatment that you receive for a TFCC injury depends on your symptoms and the extent of your condition. Some injuries can be treated with protective supports, such as splints or casts. Your doctor may recommend modalities such as icing, medication, or cortisone injections to ease pain. Arthroscopic surgery is recommended if nonoperative treatments will not or do not provide symptom relief.

If arthroscopic wrist surgery is recommended, your surgeon will make a few small incisions near your wrist to insert the arthroscope and thin surgical instruments. The arthroscope is used to remove torn tissues or to repair the TFCC when possible. As arthroscopy uses small incisions and is less invasive than traditional surgeries, it has a shorter recovery time with less bleeding, swelling, and pain than open procedures.

If you have questions, or to make an appointment, call: 404-778-3350.