TFCC Injuries

Triangular Fibro Cartilage Complex (TFCC)

What is it?

The Triangular Fibro Cartilage Complex (TFCC) is a cushion of cartilage that sits in a network of supporting ligaments between the forearm bone and the wrist bone on the little finger side of the wrist.

How is the TFCC injured?

Acute TFCC injuries can be caused by falling onto an outstretched hand, having the wrist forced back too far, or from forced twisting of the forearm.

The TFCC can also be injured by repetitive loading, or through degeneration related to age and activities.

Will it get better?

Most TFCC injuries make an excellent recovery, although as with all injuries there are factors that might make it more severe or persistent. Minor injuries usually take 1-3 months to recover, while more severe injuries may take 3-6 months. A small percentage of TFCC injuries will not recover without surgical intervention. Your physiotherapist can advise you on the apparent severity of your injury.

What can I do about it?

  1. Education: A patient who understands the underlying anatomy and pathology has a much greater chance of successfully managing a TFCC injury.
  2. Avoid ongoing aggravation: Identify and modify aggravating activities, and splint if necessary. Off-the-shelf braces from a pharmacy may be adequate, but we find custom-made thermoplastic splints are more effective and usually more comfortable.
  3. Graduated exercises: After settling down the acute pain with a splint, ask your physiotherapist for advice on some appropriate flexibility, strength and weight-bearing exercises. These will start very gently, and build up as your wrist gets stronger again.

Video Clip

In this video the Flex team talk you through care and management of Triangular Fibro Cartilage Complex (TFCC) Injuries