The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is a cartilage structure located on the small finger side of the wrist that, cushions and supports the small carpal bones in the wrist. The TFCC keeps the forearm bones (radius and ulna) stable when the hand grasps or the forearm rotates. An injury or tear to the TFCC can cause chronic wrist pain. There are two types of TFCC tears:
Type 1 tears are called traumatic tears. Falling on an outstretched hand and excessive arm rotation are the most common causes.
Type 2 TFCC tears are degenerative or chronic. They can occur over time and with age. The degenerative process wears the cartilage down over time. Some inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, may also contribute to Type 2 TFCC tears.
What are the symptoms of a TFCC tear?
Common symptoms of a TFCC tear include:
Pain, at the base of small finger side of the wrist
Pain worsens as the wrist is bent from side to side