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Sports Medicine

TFCC Tear After Surgery?

09/28/2010

Question:

after a fall at work i tore my tfcc. for the 1st 6-7mths it was treated as a sprain. During the 1st 3mths it was qiute sore to twist(palm up)and to grab anything with girth to twist or lift.. i slowly started to surf again and do things around the yard. What i learnt to do was not to use my last two fingers as this caused pain at the tfcc site.I started riding a motocross bike again at around the 4mth period(once a week). This cause more pain in the same area for around 4-7days after depending on how rough the track was. At the 6-7mth mark i had an MRI which showed a tfcc tear. I continued doing all my activities as desribed above until i seen a orthopedic surgeon. By the time i seen the sergeon it was 9mths post fall at work. During the 2mth wait to see the sergeon the pain was at its best it had ever been. The only thing i felt was movement inside my wrist where the tfcc is( with very little pain if anything)during heavy lifting or pulling. I only had pain if i tryd to twist(palm down) past horizontal and had full movement. The surgeon said emobilize it for 6weeks. I did this for one week but stoped because it felt like it was making it worse. I went back to the sergeon at around 10mths post fall and he sugested a debridement as he was unsure if the tear was on the outside or on the inside of the tfcc. He said a debridement would be a good idea for the long term of your wrist as im 37. However he also said that he didnt think the tfcc tear was on the out side. Outside tear is worse ive been told.. I went ahead with the surgery but was informed after surgery that he performed a full TFCC repair as it was an outside tear and one of the bigest tears he had seen(3 stitches). Im now in a plaster cast up to my armpit for 6weeks and out of action for aleast 4mths.Im now thinking that ive made a HUGE mistake in having any surgery preformed considering the pain level and movement i had before surgery. So my question is.. with 3 stitches in place to an outside TFCC tear what is the likely out come in terms of movement, pain(overtime6-9mths). and is it easyer to re-injure it.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health topics, but cannot diagnose, recommend specific treatment, give a second opinion, nor predict outcomes. You appear to have some very specific questions about your condition, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions need to be directed to your treating physician. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. 


Also, if you've not already done so, performing a search through this website using the term "tfcc" currently yields 5 results, which may provide you with useful information. 

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University