Hand and Wrist

Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Injury

The 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.

Anyone can get a TCFF tear. It occurs most often in those who fall on an outstretched hand. Athletes are at risk, especially those who use a racquet, bat or club and those who put a lot of pressure on the wrist such as gymnasts. Degenerative tears are more common in people over 50. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible after an injury to the wrist.

TFCC tears are often sustained when a person falls and lands on the hand, bending the wrist backwards. They can also be present in patients with wrist fractures. Degenerative TFCC tears are more common in people over 50. A longer ulna (arm bone on the small finger side of arm) can also contribute to this condition because it puts more pressure on the TFCC.

Scapholunate Ligament Injury

The Scapholunate (SL) ligament connects two of the small carpal bones together, the scaphoid and lunate. These are located near the center of the wrist. The SL ligament ensures the bones move in unison and the wrist has a smooth rotation. When it is torn, the bones separate in different directions, resulting in a painful loss of grip strength. This injury to the wrist is not uncommon and is often sustained by athletes.

SL ligament tears are usually caused by an accident. Falls or sudden weight-bearing activities on the wrist can result in a ligament tear, which separate the small bones within the inner wrist. Fractures frequently accompany the tear.

Carpometacarpal Joint

You move your thumbs hundreds of times a day. This is possible thanks to a series of joints within the thumb, which allow it to move up and down, in and out, and rotate to touch other fingers.

One of the joints within the thumb is known as the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. Located at the juncture of the thumb and wrist, this small but mighty joint allows movement of the hand and wrist.

Without the proper function of this joint, numerous everyday tasks would be difficult but carpometacarpal joint injuries are often overlooked.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the Thumb

Gamekeeper’s thumb (also known as skier’s thumb or UCL tear) is a type of injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the thumb. The UCL may be torn, damaged or in some cases avulsed from its insertion site into the proximal phalanx of the thumb in the vast majority (approximately 90%) of cases.

A sprained thumb occurs when the ligaments that support the thumb stretch beyond their limits or tear. This usually happens when a strong force bends the thumb backwards, away from the palm of the hand. The most common way for this to occur is by falling onto an outstretched hand.

Most thumb sprains involve the ulnar collateral ligament, which is located on the inside of the knuckle joint. A tear to this ligament can be painful and may make your thumb feel unstable. It may also weaken your ability to grasp objects between your thumb and index finger.

Mallet Finger

A mallet finger is a deformity of the finger caused when the tendon that straightens your finger (the extensor tendon) is damaged.

When a ball or other object strikes the tip of the finger or thumb and forcibly bends it, the force tears the tendon that straightens the finger. The force of the blow may even pull away a piece of bone along with the tendon. The tip of the finger or thumb no longer straightens. This condition is sometimes referred to as baseball finger.

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