The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is a cartilage structure located on the small finger side of the wrist that, cushions and supports the small carpal bones in the wrist. The TFCC keeps the forearm bones (radius and ulna) stable when the hand grasps or the forearm rotates. An injury or tear to the TFCC can cause chronic wrist pain.
There are two types of TFCC tears:
Type 1 tears are called traumatic tears. Falling on an outstretched hand and excessive arm rotation are the most common causes.
Type 2 TFCC tears are degenerative or chronic. The degenerative process wears the cartilage down over time and age. Some inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, may also contribute to Type 2 TFCC tears.
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