The purpose of this study was to evaluate treatment results following arthroscopic triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) debridement for recalcitrant ulnar wrist pain. According to the treatment algorithm, 66 patients (36 men and 30 women with a mean age of 38.1 years (15 to 67)) with recalcitrant ulnar wrist pain were allocated to undergo ulnar shortening osteotomy (USO; n = 24), arthroscopic TFCC repair (n = 15), arthroscopic TFCC debridement (n = 14) or prolonged conservative treatment (n = 13). The mean follow-up was 36.0 months (15 to 54). Significant differences in Hand20 score at 18 months were evident between the USO group and TFCC debridement group (p = 0.003), and between the TFCC repair group and TFCC debridement group (p = 0.029). Within-group comparisons showed that Hand20 score at five months or later and pain score at two months or later were significantly decreased in the USO/TFCC repair groups. In contrast, scores in the TFCC debridement/conservative groups did not decrease significantly. Grip strength at 18 months was significantly improved in the USO/TFCC repair groups, but not in the TFCC debridement/conservative groups. TFCC debridement shows little benefit on the clinical course of recalcitrant ulnar wrist pain even after excluding patients with ulnocarpal abutment or TFCC detachment from the fovea from the indications for arthroscopic TFCC debridement.
Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:1687–96.
No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
This article was primary edited by P. Baird and first-proof edited by G. Scott.
- Received February 28, 2013.
- Accepted August 21, 2013.
- ©2013 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery