ARTICLES>TFCC Injury: 6 Factors That Put You At Risk
TFCC Injury: 6 Factors That Put You At Risk
The Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) is an important structure in the wrist that is made up of tough fibrous tissue and cartilage. It acts as a stabiliser for the ulnar side, also known as the pinkie finger side, of the wrist. Like many other parts of your body, the TFCC is also prone to injuries as a result of natural wear and tear or trauma to the area. A wrist fracture, falling on the hand or wrist and a twisting injury are some common causes. When you suffer a TFCC injury, you may experience chronic pain, instability in the wrist, a limited range of motion, weakness and hearing a clicking or popping sound while turning or moving the wrist. That being said, a TFCC injury does not always present symptoms and an MRI scan is needed to show tears in people with no wrist pain or problems. Wondering if you are at risk of suffering from a TFCC injury? Although it can occur in anyone of all ages, these are some of the most common factors that could contribute to the condition. Keep reading to find out more. 1. Using your hands and wrist a lotHigh-performance athletes like gymnasts and baseball players perform challenging and repetitive motions with their hands and wrists. This increases the possibility of a TFCC injury due to acute trauma or chronic repetitive loading, or sometimes both.
While one of the methods to prevent a TFCC injury is to avoid repetitive and excessive wrist motions, athletes are not able to do so because of their profession. 2. An active lifestyleSports enthusiasts and exercise junkies who lead an active lifestyle could increase their risk of suffering from a TFCC injury too. Even simple activities like running and jumping may cause them to fall on their hands or wrist, resulting in a force large enough to tear the TFCC. 3. Over 50 years of ageSimilar to the other tendons and ligaments in the body, the TFCC also gets worn down over time and becomes thinner with age. As thinner tissues are more likely to tear, older people over 50 years of age are at risk of a degenerative TFCC injury. Repetitive motions accumulated from one’s profession over the decades can also break down tissues, leading to tears that often appear in the later parts of life. 4. Wrist fractureThe force of a fall or an injury that causes a wrist fracture at the end of the radius may also be accompanied by a TFCC tear. Learn more: The Common Hand & Wrist Injuries Due To A Fall & How To Treat Them5. Inflammatory conditionsChronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and gout can cause wrist damage as the years go by, resulting in a TFCC injury. In fact, a study has found that 38.9% of patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis developed TFCC tears.Learn more: A Guide To Hand And Wrist Arthritis6. Ulnar impaction syndromeUlnar impaction syndrome is a congenital condition that could also contribute to a TFCC injury. It means that the forearm bone is too long compared to the radius, causing excessive pressure on the ulnar side of the wrist which speeds up wear and tear. As degeneration occurs, the TFCC becomes thinner and more prone to tears.
Seek treatment for your TFCC injury in Singapore todayOur hand and wrist specialist, Dr Jacqueline Tan, is committed to helping patients regain their quality of life by providing treatments for TFCC injuries. In most cases, conservative treatments like immobilisation, taking pain-relief medications, steroid injections and physical therapy are sufficient to help manage the symptoms and allow a TFCC tear to heal on its own. But for persistent TFCC tears, surgery using arthroscopy may be needed. It is advisable to seek prompt treatment to prevent your condition from worsening – get in touch with us to book an appointment.