Wrist pain can be caused by various reasons, ranging from accidents to chronic conditions. A triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) sprain occurs because of an injury to the wrist. TFCC is a cartilage structure that connects the small wrist bones on the pinkie side to the end of the forearm. It is frequently treated with medication and physical therapy.
However, if non-surgical options do not provide relief, your doctor will most likely advise surgery. Continue reading to learn more about surgical options your doctor may recommend for a TFCC wrist sprain.
Surgical Options for TFCC Wrist Sprain
The first step of diagnosis is adding pressure to the affected wrist. Comparing the pressure against the non-affected wrist is a good way to initially determine the level of pain and injury. Wrist movement will also be examined to further assess the damage.
Broken bones in the forearm or hands are frequently associated with TFCC sprains. Therefore, an X-ray may be required to identify any additional injuries that require treatment. Alternatively, your doctor may order an MRI to rule out more severe complications.
After diagnosis, the orthopedic doctor will evaluate the need for a surgical approach. There are two surgical options to address TFCC sprains: arthroscopy or open TFCC repair.
Arthroscopic TFCC Repair
This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves making 2 to 3 small incisions in the wrist. Then, the wrist is examined and treated with an arthroscope, a slender viewing instrument, and other miniature surgical equipment, as needed. The extent of repair is based on the ligament and cartilage damage.
To repair minor cartilage tears, a process called debriding will be performed, which removes dead or damaged tissues. Tears are sometimes sutured and reattached, and ligament ruptures are repaired with wires, sutures, and even screws to stabilize the area until it heals completely.
Open TFCC Repair
Complex tears require more invasive procedures like the open TFCC repair. The surgeon will make an incision to have a better perspective and gain access to the injury. Reattachment is possible in the wrist, and bone joints can be wire-stabilized. Chronic and degenerative injury reduction of the TFCC side of the wrist will be performed by shortening the forearm bone attached to the wrist, known as the ulna.
After either procedure, your wrist should be elevated for 2 to 3 days and immobilized using a splint for 2 to 6 weeks. Eventually, you will be instructed to do strengthening and stretching exercises to regain your range of motion. You are also advised to refrain from driving for at least two months following surgery.
Compared to open surgery, arthroscopic surgery allows for a faster recovery. Because the arthroscopic procedure is minimally invasive, it results in a shorter hospital stay and much less post-surgical pain and scar formation.
TFCC repair surgeries, like most surgeries, come with risks such as:
- Damage to the nerves and tendons
- Stiffness, pain, and swelling from scars
- Repair failure
Make sure to observe your condition and follow your physician’s instructions to minimize risks.
TFCC Wrist Sprain Surgery in North Dakota
Most injuries in the wrist can be treated with physical therapy or medication. However, there are cases where surgical treatments may be needed to address the issue.
If you are experiencing unbearable wrist pain, schedule an appointment with The Bone and Joint Center. We can provide an accurate diagnosis by assessing the extent of the damage, and our experienced doctors can determine treatment options that best suit your needs.
To learn more about how The Bone and Joint Center can help you, call us at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 or visit our appointment request page. Our team looks forward to assisting you in returning to your daily routine!