It is essential that YOU can measure your wrist reliably and track your progress. The numbers will tell you how you are doing every week. Remember, the weight bearing test is strenuous to the TFCC and should only be performed without the WristWidget® at the beginning and end of the treatment. You will know when you have completed the treatment when your wrist has full, pain-free weight bearing tolerance. You can print this handy chart for your reference.
Yes, 4-12 weeks is a very long time but well worth your efforts AND you can continue to function with the WristWidget® on! For those people whose weight bearing more than 65 lbs., your treatment does not necessarily need to be all day and night. You may choose to wear it only when you perform strenuous exercises. Note that I have highlighted the fourth week. This is a tough week where many people think they are healed and consider discontinuing the WristWidget®. Hang in there until the weight bearing is normal - not 80%.
Therapist and Physician notes
Wrist Weight Bearing (WWB) test is an elaboration of the Press Test. It is the only way to accurately measure the extent of the injury and change over the course of time.
Must use a non-digital analog scale. Must keep elbow STRAIGHT. If the patient is painful with wrist extension, test the unaffected wrist at 45 degrees and duplicate test on the affected wrist and compare. Do not push beyond pain. This is important.
WWB is largely defined by age and height.
WWB is typically between 60 and 120 lbs.
WWB - no difference between right and left, dominant and non-dominant
WWB- If TFCC is torn, you will see painful and diminished weight bearing tolerance AND a clear and objective improvement with the WristWidget® immediately.
WWB is typically 15% less than grip except in cases where heavy use of forearms - elite athletes, carpenters, weightlifters etc.
Often Abductor Digiti Quinti is a cause of clicking. Test resisted abduction. If painful, tape pinky to the ring finger during the day. The patient complains of pain with typing, mousing or writing. Clicking is not always present in every case. Remember, the wrist has many small bones which are all disrupted when the radius and ulna spread from a TFCC tear.
Often Flexor Policis Longus is involved and causes slightly velar (palm sided) ulnar pain. Simply stretch FPL and resist flexion of DIP- if painful- will respond beautifully to stretching exercises. These patients report pain with mousing and typing - a complaint atypical for TFCC only problems.
ECU-only tendonitis presents with pain-free and normal weight bearing tolerance. Often though, both TFCC tears and ECU tendonitis present together. If ECU is painful to touch at the insertion at the base of the 5th metacarpal and 6th dorsal compartment, it really helps to splint patient at night in a wrist-cock up which does not compress the ulna head. If wb is over 65 lbs, night time use of WristWidget® is not required but recommended. Wear this wrist-cock up splint over the WristWidget®®.
45 lbs of wrist weight bearing are necessary for function. If below, the patient will have simple functional pain. 65 lbs of wrist weight bearing are required for heavier tasks. The patient can return to heavy activities when weight bearing is over 65 lbs. Patients need to wear the WristWidget® 24/7 until weight bearing is over 65 lbs. In patients who are not active and their normal is 65 lbs, they typically are not loading the wrist functionally beyond 50. In this case- the WristWidget® can be removed at night.
The goal is 100% of weight bearing tolerance. Most patients will stop treatment prematurely because they do not know their 100%.
Cortisone injections skew weight bearing tolerance- falsely negative- or pain-free. Do not test weight bearing tolerance for 10 days after a cortisone injection. Patients with a TFCC tear who get a cortisone injection develop an immediate ability to bear weight. At the end of 10 days, the weight bearing tolerance plummets. NOTE: after a cortisone injection, instruct patients to protect their wrist and do not load it!
There is a high correlation between ulnar-sided wrist pain and stomach weakness. Data gathered based on Chinese Medicine reports and worth noting in your own experience.