Characteristics of Triangular Fibrocartilage Defects in Symptomatic and Contralateral Asymptomatic Wrists1

Department of Radiology, Orthopedic University Hospital Balgrist, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Radiology (Impact Factor: 6.87). 10/2000; 216(3):840-5. DOI: 10.1148/radiology.216.3.r00se06840
Source: PubMed


To characterize triangular fibrocartilage (TFC) defects in symptomatic and contralateral asymptomatic wrists.
Communicating and noncommunicating defects of the TFC were depicted on bilateral wrist arthrograms in 56 patients with unilateral wrist pain and without associated lesions of the scapholunate or lunotriquetral ligaments. The exact location of each TFC lesion was noted.
Communicating defects were noted in 36 (64%) of 56 symptomatic and in 26 (46%) of 56 asymptomatic wrists. Twenty-five (69%) of 36 communicating defects were bilateral. Except for one defect in each group of symptomatic and asymptomatic wrists, all communicating defects were noted radially. Noncommunicating defects were noted in 28 (50%) of 56 symptomatic wrists and in 15 (27%) of 56 asymptomatic wrists. Eleven (39%) of 28 noncommunicating defects were bilateral. On the symptomatic side, 28 of 36 noncommunicating defects (including eight multiple defects) were located proximally at the ulnar side. On the asymptomatic side, 11 of 17 noncommunicating defects (including two multiple defects) were at or near the ulna.
Noncommunicating TFC defects, which typically are located on the proximal side of the TFC near its ulnar attachment, have a more reliable association with symptomatic wrists than do communicating defects. Radial-sided communicating defects described in the literature (Palmer type 1A and 1D) as posttraumatic commonly are seen bilaterally and in asymptomatic wrists.

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    • "Noncommunicating TFCC defects, which typically are located on the proximal side of the TFC near its ulnar attachment, have a more reliable association with symptomatic wrists than do communicating defects [57]. Radial-sided communicating defects described in the literature as post-traumatic commonly are seen bilaterally and in asymptomatic wrists [57]. The TFCC with associated bony fracture is adequately analyzed using multidetector CT arthrography. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pain at the ulnar aspect of the wrist is a diagnostic challenge for hand surgeons and radiologists due to the small and complex anatomical structures involved. In this article, imaging modalities including radiography, arthrography, ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), CT arthrography, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and MR arthrography are compared with regard to differential diagnosis. Clinical imaging findings are reviewed for a more comprehensive understanding of this disorder. Treatments for the common diseases that cause the ulnar-sided wrist pain including extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendonitis, flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) tendonitis, pisotriquetral arthritis, triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) lesions, ulnar impaction, lunotriquetral (LT) instability, and distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) instability are reviewed.
    Skeletal Radiology 12/2009; 39(9):837-57. DOI:10.1007/s00256-009-0842-3 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    • "In older patients a signal may be seen within the low-signal TFC on T1-weighted and proton-density – weighted MR images that is thought to be caused by mucoid and myxoid degenerative changes. Degeneration of the TFC is frequently seen and often asymptomatic [39] [40]. When there is degeneration of the TFC, MR imaging shows intermediate-signal intensity on short-echo-time images that does not increase on T2-or T2*-weighted images. "
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    ABSTRACT: MR imaging of the wrist frequently represents a diagnostic challenge for radiologists because of the complex anatomy of this joint, small size of its components, and little known pathologic conditions. MR arthrography combines the advantages of conventional MR imaging and arthrography by improving the visualization of small intra-articular abnormalities. This article reviews the current role of MR arthrography in the evaluation of wrist joint disorders considering the relevant aspects of anatomy, techniques, and applications.
    Radiologic Clinics of North America 08/2005; 43(4):709-31, viii. DOI:10.1016/j.rcl.2005.02.004 · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the dynamic morphologic changes of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) during pronation and supination of the forearm using high-resolution MR arthrography in cadavers and to evaluate the impact of these changes on the diagnostic assessment of the normal and abnormal TFCC. DESIGN AND SPECIMENS: High-resolution MR arthrography of 10 wrists of cadaveric specimens was obtained in maximum pronation, in the neutral position, and in maximum supination of the forearm. The structures of the TFCC were evaluated by two musculoskeletal radiologists and correlated with anatomic sections. The position of the forearm that allowed the best visualization of normal structures and lesions of the TFCC was determined. The shape and extent of the articular disc as well as the radial portions of the radioulnar ligaments did not change with pronation and supination. The articular disc was horizontal in the neutral position and tilted more distally to align with the proximal carpal row in pronation and supination. The fibers of the ulnar part of the radioulnar ligaments (ulnar attachment of the articular disc) revealed the most significant changes: their orientation was coronal in the neutral position and sagittal in positions of pronation and supination. The ulnomeniscal homologue was largest in the neutral position and was reduced in size during pronation and supination. The extensor carpi ulnaris tendon was centered in its groove in the neutral position and pronation. In supination this tendon revealed subluxation from this groove. The dorsal capsule of the distal radioulnar joint was taut in pronation, and the palmar capsule was taut in supination. The preferred forearm position for analysis of most of the structures of the TFCC was the neutral position, followed by the pronated position. The neutral position was rated best for the detection of ulnar and radial detachments of the TFCC, followed by the pronated position, except for two central perforations of the TFCC which were best seen with supination. The articular disc and the surrounding radial portions of the radioulnar ligaments form a rigid, unified complex with the radius without change in their shape in positions of pronation and supination of the forearm, while the ulnar attachment of the TFCC shows important dynamic changes. The neutral forearm position is the best position to analyze both the normal and the abnormal TFCC.
    Skeletal Radiology 01/2002; 30(12):677-85. DOI:10.1007/s002560100429 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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