Ulnar sided wrist pain and Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Tears

Ulnar sided wrist pain (pain on the little finger side of the wrist) is common, and includes many causes. Each of these has specific clinical signs and symptoms and tailored treatment is indicated. TFCC tears are most common and are vitally important as the TFCC complex provides stability to the radio-ulnar joint (DRUJ) which allows your hand to rotate on the forearm.

Tears might be traumatic or degenerate and it is important to distinguish between the two as treatment for each is markedly different. Treatment should be directed at persistent symptoms from mechanical irritation or synovitis of the joint, associated fractures or malunions, or DRUJ instability.

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  • Management


Non-operative management of TFCC tears is with splinting, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, often supplemented by a local anaesthetic and steroid injection if the symptoms are severe.


Operative management of TFCC tears is tear specific, as they may tear from different insertions, and needs assessment of associated DRUJ instability and the relationship of the distal radius to the distal ulna. Surgery may be performed arthroscopically or require an open cut technique depending on whether a repair or a reconstruction is performed.

Conditions Managed

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