Characteristics of Triangular Fibrocartilage Defects in Symptomatic and Contralateral Asymptomatic Wrists1

ArticleinRadiology 216(3):840-5 · October 2000with22 Reads
Impact Factor: 6.87 · DOI: 10.1148/radiology.216.3.r00se06840 · Source: PubMed
Abstract

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.

    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Skeletal Radiology
    0Comments 51Citations
    • "This author [1] preferred a single compartment injection planned with the referring surgeon, performing a single injection in the most clinically relevant compartment and then adding additional injections if a tear is not seen on the conventional arthrogram preceding MRI examination. Zanetti et al. [58] and Rüegger et al. [41] consider noncommunicating defects of ulnar attachments of TFC to be frequently symptomatic. To diagnose these tears, the authors recommended including an injection of contrast material into the DRUJ in wrists with no communicating defects of the TFC following radiocarpal injection. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) has become the preferred modality for imaging patients with internal derangement of the wrist. However, several aspects of MRA use need to be clarified before a standardized approach to the imaging of internal derangement of the wrist can be developed. The objective of the study is to evaluate the efficiency of different magnetic resonance (MR) sequences in the detection of lesions of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and scapholunate and lunotriquetral ligaments on direct MRA. Thirty-one consecutive direct magnetic resonance arthrographic examinations of the wrist using a wrist surface coil were performed for the assessment of the TFCC and intrinsic ligaments on a 1.5-T MR imaging system (Signa; 16 channel, Excite, GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA). All patients had wrist pain, and in six cases, there was associated clinical carpal instability. The presence, location, and extent of TFCC, scapholunate ligament (SLL), and lunotriquetral ligament (LTL) lesions on T1 fat-saturated, multiplanar gradient recalled (MPGR) and short tau inversion recovery (STIR) images were identified, compared, and analyzed. Forty-one lesions of the TFCC, SLL, and LTL were visualized on contrast-sensitive (T1 fat-saturated) images in 23/31 (74.2%) patients. Twenty-one lesions of the TFCC and intrinsic ligaments were visualized on noncontrast-sensitive (MPGR and STIR) images (15 tears of the TFCC and six tears of the SLL and LTL). All of these lesions were seen on T1 fat-saturated images; 48.8% (20/41) lesions seen on T1 fat-saturated images (eight tears of TFCC and 12 tears of SLL and LTT) were not seen on MPGR and/or STIR images. Superior contrast resolution, joint distention, and the flow of contrast facilitate the diagnosis of lesions of the TFCC and intrinsic ligaments on contrast-sensitive sequences making MRA the preferred modality for imaging internal derangements of the wrist. Little agreement exists regarding the value and location of perforations of the intrinsic ligaments given that both traumatic and degenerative perforations may be symptomatic. Noncommunicating defects of the ulnar attachments of the triangular fibrocartilage (TFC), tears of the dorsal segment of the SLL, and defects at the lunate attachment of the SLL have a higher likelihood of being symptomatic and caused by trauma rather than by degenerative perforation. Although no consensus exists, it would appear that most arthrographies should be started with a radiocarpal injection. Injection into the distal radioulnar joint should be added if no communicational defects are visualized following radiocarpal injection in patients with ulnar-sided wrist pain.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2009 · Hand
    0Comments 18Citations
    • "Further classifi cation of ligament tears helps differentiate full-thickness (usually communicating) tears from partial-thickness (noncommunicating ) tears (Fig 2). The pathologic signifi cance of partial-thickness tears for interosseous ligaments is discussed in the literature, but the signifi cance of such tears is widely considered to be greater for the TFCC (19,20). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With its exquisite spatial resolution, multidetector computed tomographic (CT) arthrography of the wrist is a valuable tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of a wide spectrum of articular disorders. Traumatic tears of the interosseous ligaments can be classified as complete or incomplete and as partial- or full-thickness tears at multidetector CT arthrography and can also be differentiated from asymptomatic degenerative lesions. In addition, tears of the triangular fibrocartilage complex can be differentiated according to their location. A tailored contrast material injection technique and multiplanar reformation are recommended for optimal assessment of these structures. Multidetector CT arthrography is also remarkably effective in demonstrating cartilage and bone abnormalities, many of which cannot be depicted with other imaging techniques. The chief limitation of multidetector CT arthrography lies in the evaluation of soft-tissue abnormalities, which may benefit from the addition of other imaging techniques such as ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging. A basic knowledge of the relevant anatomy, pathophysiologic features, and imaging technique is mandatory for obtaining high-yield diagnostic information concerning the wrist joint. (c) RSNA, 2008.
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · Radiographics
    0Comments 33Citations
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