How do I know if my TFCC is severe?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

If you suspect that your TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) injury is severe, there are several signs and symptoms that you can look out for. It’s important to note that only a medical professional can provide an accurate diagnosis, so it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

1. Persistent and severe pain: Severe TFCC injuries often result in intense and persistent pain in the ulnar side of the wrist, which is the side near the pinky finger. This pain may be sharp, throbbing, or achy, and it may worsen with certain movements or activities.

2. Limited range of motion: A severe TFCC injury can significantly impact your ability to rotate your wrist or forearm. You may experience difficulty in fully rotating your wrist inwards or outwards, and there may be a noticeable decrease in your overall range of motion.

3. Weakness and reduced grip strength: As the TFCC plays a crucial role in stabilizing the wrist joint, a severe injury can lead to weakness and a noticeable reduction in grip strength. You may find it challenging to hold onto objects tightly or perform simple tasks that require hand strength.

4. Swelling and inflammation: In some cases, a severe TFCC injury can cause noticeable swelling and inflammation around the ulnar side of the wrist. The area may appear red and feel warm to the touch.

5. Clicking or popping sensations: While these sounds can also occur with less severe TFCC injuries, they may be more pronounced and frequent in cases of severe damage. Clicking or popping sensations can be felt when you rotate your wrist or forearm, indicating potential damage to the TFCC.

6. Instability or a feeling of looseness: In severe cases, you may experience a sense of instability or looseness in the wrist joint. This can make it challenging to perform precise movements and activities that require stability, such as writing or gripping objects.

It’s important to remember that these symptoms can vary from person to person, and a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. They may perform a physical examination, order imaging tests (such as an MRI), and consider your medical history to determine the severity of your TFCC injury.

In my personal experience, I suffered a severe TFCC injury during a sports accident. I experienced intense pain and swelling in my wrist, along with a significant decrease in grip strength. Rotating my wrist was extremely painful and limited, and I noticed a clicking sensation with certain movements. It was a clear indication that my TFCC injury was severe, and I sought immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, if you suspect a severe TFCC injury, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional who can provide an accurate assessment and guide you through appropriate treatment options.