As the name indicates, this is a complex collection of structures that work together to stabilise and support the wrist and facilitate placement of the hand for functional activities.
Traumatic and chronic disruption to the TFCC is a common cause of ulnar-sided wrist pain and is often associated with decreased grip strength and impaired function.
The main functions of the TFCC are:
- To stabilise the ‘distal radio-ulna joint’, the joint allows you to rotate your forearm.
- To absorb shock from any forces going through your hand.
How does this injury occur?
- The TFCC is often injured with forced rotation of the forearm. This can happen in a fall, when holding heavy objects or using power tools etc.
- It can also be a chronic ‘wear and tear’ injury – for example if you have a heavy repetitive job, or if your bony anatomy puts extra stress on the ligament.
When an injury occurs, it means the ligament has been disrupted. This might be a tear in the ligament, the ligament may have stretched, become too thin, or pulled away from the bone.
Some injuries are treated with surgery to repair the ligament, others may rest in a splint or special wrist band, and other may be treated with exercises to strengthen the wrist. Your therapist will be able to guide you as to which treatment is most suitable.