Arthroscopic Treatment of Sports Injuries to the Triangular Fibrocartilage

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Abstract

Summary

An injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is one of the most common causes of ulnar-sided wrist pain in the athlete. The TFCC functions to stabilize the ulnar side of the wrist, as well as the distal radioulnar joint, and contributes to the load-bearing capacity of the upper extremity. Acute injuries are initially treated with immobilization, rest, and symptomatic relief. The emergence of advanced techniques in wrist arthroscopy has enhanced the surgical armamentarium. Central TFCC tears are débrided, whereas peripheral avulsions, both radial and ulnar, can be repaired arthroscopically. Chronic TFCC injuries are seen in older athletes and represent a continuum of injury and degeneration. Treatment involves débridement, possible distal ulnar resection, and possible lunotriqetral stabilization. Rehabilitation protocols focus on an adequate period of immobilization to allow soft tissue healing, followed by controlled, progressive range of motion and strengthening exercises.

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