Isolated tears of the triangular fibrocartilage: management by early arthroscopic repair.


To evaluate the efficacy of arthroscopic repair of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears treated within 4 months after injury, functional outcome after repair was determined following arthroscopic repair in 24 patients. The patients' average age was 31 years (range, 22-38 years); the average follow-up period was 34 months (range, 26-48 months). All patients had wrist pain limiting their participation in work prior to surgery. Patients with central attrition tears identified by arthroscopy were excluded from the study. Twenty-three patients had a preoperative arthrogram. Twelve of the patients with positive arthrogram findings had an avulsion of the TFCC from the sigmoid notch (Palmer type 1D tears). Of the eleven patients with negative arthrograms, 10 had ulnar tears in capsular attachments of the TFCC. The ulna variance averaged 0.2 mm +/- 0.6 mm. Separate arthroscopic techniques were developed for reattaching the TFCC to the radius (nine patients) versus to the peripheral capsule on the volar or ulnar side of the wrist (eight patients). Postoperatively, there was a significant relief of pain (p < .01). Postoperative range of motion averaged 89% +/- 9% SD of the contralateral side, and grip strength averaged 85% +/- 20% SD of the contralateral side. Thirteen of the 19 patients returning to work did so in their original jobs.

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@article{Trumble1997IsolatedTO, title={Isolated tears of the triangular fibrocartilage: management by early arthroscopic repair.}, author={Thomas E. Trumble and M L Gilbert and Nicholas B. Vedder}, journal={The Journal of hand surgery}, year={1997}, volume={22 1}, pages={57-65} }