In 1981, Palmer and Werner introduced the term triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) to describe the ligamentous and cartilaginous structures that suspend the distal radius and ulnar carpus from the distal ulna. The TFCC is the major ligamentous stabilizer of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) and the ulnar carpus. It has a triangular shape and a biconcave body; the periphery is thicker than its center. This discus is attached by thick tissue to the base of the ulnar styloid and by thinner tissue to the edge of the radius just proximal to the radiocarpal articular surface. The TFCC is important in load transmission across the ulnar aspect of the wrist. The TFC transmits and absorbs compressive forces and act as a major stabilizer of the DRUJ. To control the forearm rotation the DRUJ acts in concert with the proximal radioulnar joint. The connection between the distal radius and the distal ulna, maintain the congruency of the DRUJ. This attachment is mainly created by the radioulnar ligaments of the TFCC. These ligaments support the joint through its arc of rotation.
Injuries to the TFCC present as ulnar-side wrist pain, frequently with clicking. Torn TFCCs constitute 35% of intra-articular fractures and 53% of extra-articular fractures. There is no correlation between ulnar styloid fractures and TFCC injuries. The Palmer classification divides TFCC abnormalities into two main classes, which are then further divided into several subtypes. Basically the two main classes are divided between traumatic abnormalities (direct trauma) and degenerative (ulnocarpal abutment syndrome). Patients with a TFCC injury usually experience pain or discomfort located at the ulnar side of the wrist, often just above the ulnar styloid. However, there are also some patients who report diffuse pain throughout the entire wrist. #pt#rehab#wrist#tfcc#wristpain#wristsprain#inflammation#pain#physicaltherapy#orthopedics#medicine#rehabilitation#ulna#swelling#anatomy#wristanatomy#cartilage