Background: Few studies have addressed the prevalence of central triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears or their risk factors for symptom development. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of radiographic central TFCC tears in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, and evaluate clinical characteristics of symptomatic individuals. Methods: In this retrospective case control study, 221 patients younger than 50 years who exhibited positive ulnocarpal provocation test and underwent MRI to identify abnormalities associated with TFCC were age- and sex-matched with 221 controls who had undergone hand or wrist MRI for tumorous lesions or pain in hand other than ulnar-sided wrist. Demographic and radiologic parameters including the degree of ulnar plus variance, the type of central TFCC lesions, the presence of ulna head or carpal bone enhancement, and cartilage degeneration of ulno-carpal or distal radio-ulnar joint were compared. Multivariable regression analysis was carried out to identify independent risk factors for symptom development in patients with central TFCC lesions. Results: The prevalence of central TFCC lesions was 68/221 in symptomatic patients, which was not significantly different from that (51/221) in asymptomatic controls. Patients in the symptomatic group had significantly greater ulnar plus variance (1.6 vs. 0.7). They were more likely to have type 1A tears and bony enhancement in ulnar head or carpus on MR images. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that youth, female gender, and presence of bony enhancement were significant risk factors for symptom development in central TFCC lesions. Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, prevalence of central TFCC lesions detected on MRI in symptomatic patients seems to be similar to that in asymptomatic individuals. Younger age, female gender, and presence of bony enhancement on MR images seem to be risk factors for symptoms of central TFCC lesions.
- Central triangular fibrocartilage complex tears
- Clinical characteristics
- Magnetic resonance images
- Risk factors