Information to help understand your wrist injury
- TFCC tears do not cause loss of motion. They also do not swell. A fracture can certainly swell and there can be a TFCC tear ALSO but generally, TFCC tears do not swell.
- Ulnar sided wrist pain. Pain to the back of the wrist towards the
- Purchase a protective wrist splint to prevent motion during the first critical 2-10 days. Make sure that there is no compression to the ulna head.
- If no swelling- go ahead and heat the wrist with a heating pad. Alternate warm and cold water in the shower. This helps with circulation.
- Here is a good one-- cheap and simple.
Make apt with general practitioner to get X-Ray
Likely will take 1-3 week to get X-rays to rule out fracture.
- Get a referral to a hand orthopedic specialist because these are hard to get. It takes time to get an appointment. Get a referral on the first visit to your general doc, just in case!
- X-rays negative— continue with referral to hand doc.
- X-rays Positive— casting per your docs recommendation.
Test Weight Bearing Tolerance: (Click here)
Define how bad your injury is based on
Weight Bearing Test.
Mild (no too bad).
Moderate (pay attention / monitor closely)
Significant (it’s a doozy)
If weight-bearing tolerance increases with taping, you can conclude that your TFCC is injured. You can’t rule out other injuries yet...
If Weight bearing increases with tape order WristWidget
If Weight Bearing is over 45lbs you can remove generic protective splint at night while you wait for WristWidget to arrive.
If under 45lbs – continue protective splinting with tape
Email weight bearing numbers
Print out protocol form and keep for your weekly
assessments. (Click here)
(Mild or Moderate)
WristWidget arrives in the mail. Start treatment protocol- depending on your injury (Mild, Moderate, Significant)... see protocol below.
If Injury is Significant – Wait for X-Ray results to rule out fracture before beginning protocol.
Weight Bearing numbers 20-45lbs-
- Wear nighttime wrist splint over the WristWidget to prevent wrist flexion during sleep. Do this until your weight bearing tolerance is
- Do not try to use hand too much. No lifting anything over a 1/2 quart of milk. Protect.
- Wear WristWidget throughout day and night
- Acupuncture 2-3 times a week
- If you can get a referral for a Muenster Cast- Super! This eliminates motion of the elbow and eliminates any rotation off the wrist. This requires a prescription and an appointment with a hand doc and therapist.
- Do not eat a high protein
- Start green diet— low on sugar
- Cardio 20 minute’s daily- heart rate increase helps the body heal!
- In the meantime- referral to hand doc and likely a prescription for an MRI-
- These usually take 2-4 weeks to complete paperwork, authorization, etc. At this point, you are 38 days post injury before
Weight Bearing Numbers 45-65
45 lbs is a "Functional wrist" Yea! This means that you should be able to function for the most part around the home. Things like dishes, dressing, making a bed etc should not hurt. This does not include carrying children, animals, heavy bags of groceries etc. This is a light functional task.
- Normal function should be pain
- Not able to load it with sport or heavy lifting YET
- Wear WristWidget day and night
- Wait until weight-bearing tolerance is 65 before starting any
- 2-6 weeks.
Weight Bearing numbers 65+---
- Remove WristWidget at night
- Wear WristWidget all day.
- Start stretching- pronator, bicep, pectorals major and minor, Internal rotators of the shoulder
- No push-ups, No bicep curls, NO rotated pull ups.
- OK to start strengthening with progressive weights: Rhomboids, triceps, latissimus dorsi, and external rotators of the shoulder. Start with 2 lbs weights and go through the motions. If pain free, increase to 3, 5, 15, 20, 25 lbs.
- Continue diet, cardio, and acupuncture.
- Consider deep tissue massage to bicep, pectorals major and minor, Subscapularis
Important for any grade of TFCC injury
Eastern medicine correlates the TFCC with the gut. Many patients report getting this injury after a high protein diet plus load. I recommend careful consideration of a high protein diet. Changing the diet to green and clean— not too aggressive on the manufactured protein- shakes- etc.
No sugar and easy on gluten. Pure Turmeric paste is helpful to many
It really helps this injury. Cupping to the shoulder and elbow are helpful to many