Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report our preliminary results after arthroscopically-assisted repair of peripheral triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears in adolescent patients.
Methods: All children and adolescents who underwent arthroscopically-assisted repair of a Palmer 1B tear were identified and prospectively evaluated after a mean follow-up of 1.3 years. The postoperative assessment included documentation of clinical parameters, pain score (visual analogue scale, VAS), grip strength and completion of validated outcome scores (Modified Mayo Wrist Score, MMWS; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Inventory, DASH). A total of 12 patients (four males, eight females) with a mean age of 16.3 years at the time of surgery were evaluated.
Results: The mean VAS decreased significantly from 7.0 to 1.7 after the procedure. We observed a significant increase of the MMWS after surgery; however, MMWS was still significantly lower at final follow-up when compared to the contralateral side. A mean postoperative DASH score of 16 indicated an excellent outcome after the procedure. DASH Sports and Work Modules showed fair and good overall outcomes in the short-term, respectively. Grip strength averaged 86 % of the contralateral side at final follow-up, with no significant difference being found between both sides.
Conclusions: Arthroscopically-assisted repair of peripheral TFCC tears in adolescents provided predictable pain relief and markedly improved functional outcome scores. Concomitant pathologies may have to be addressed at the same time to eventually achieve a satisfactory outcome. Sports participation, however, may be compromised in the short-term and should therefore be resumed six months postoperatively.