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How to treat a triangular fibrocartilage complex tear

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The triangular fibrocartilage complex tear is a condition which causes injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex due to degenerative wear and tear, traumatic injury, and performing sports activities such as swinging a golf club, tennis racquet and a cricket bat.


  • Degenerative changes due to traumatic injuries that include force and compression that result to the fracture of the ulna or the radius.
  • Playing sports that uses racquet such as tennis and golf
  • Falling down on outstretched hand with palms facing downwards and the wrist is extended and bent backwards.
    triangular fibrocartilage complex tear

    Severe pain on the little finger on the side of wrist caused by a direct blow or a fall.

  • Long ulnar bone which impinge on the cartilage complex.
  • Performing repetitive overuse activities of the wrist such handling heavy boxes or luggage and gardening.

Symptoms of triangular fibrocartilage complex tear

  • Tenderness at the back of the wrist
  • Severe pain on the little finger on the side of wrist caused by a direct blow or a fall.
  • Severe pain when the wrist is bent sideways when moving the little finger towards the forearm.
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Clicking sound can be heard when moving the wrist
  • Reduced grip strength
  • the wrist is unstable and weak


  • Rest the affected area as much as possible. Avoid performing activities that uses the wrist to prevent further irritation and delay the healing.
  • Apply an ice pack on the area. Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and then wrap it using a towel before placing to the area for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the pain, the inflammation and the swelling. Ice stops bleeding and lessen the bruising of the area.
  • Compress the area using an elastic bandage wrapped around the affected wrist to lessen the pain, the inflammation and the swelling. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation. If the area under the wrap turns blue or violet loosen the wrap.
  • Elevate the area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling and for fast healing of the condition. Raise the affected area in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the inflammation and the pain.
  • Wear the prescribed splint or brace to prevent unnecessary movements and support the area for fast healing.
  • Prescribed corticosteroid injections to lessen the pain.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on triangular fibrocartilage complex tear is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is treated by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

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