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Acta Orthop Belg. 2012 Dec;78(6):719-23.

Thermal energy for the arthroscopic treatment of tears of the triangular fibrocartilage of the wrist.

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  • 1Hospital Fremap Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.


We evaluated the clinical and occupational outcomes of arthroscopic treatment with electrothermal shrinkage for triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears. We retrospectively reviewed 162 patients. All patients had ulnar-sided wrist pain that limited their occupational and sporting activities. The surgical technique consisted of electrothermal collagen shrinkage of the TFCC. Pain relief, range of motion, complications, reoperation rate, time to return to work and workers' compensation claims were evaluated. Exclusion criteria were distal radioulnar joint instability and association of other wrist lesions. Complete pain relief was noted in 80.3% of the patients, incomplete pain relief in 14.8%, and only 4.9% required reoperation because of pain-persistence. The average range of motion was over 90% compared to the opposite hand. Worker's compensation claims were introduced by 20 patients, of which 6 did not return to their previous occupation. Electrodiathermy may be a useful option for arthroscopic treatment of TFCC tears in cases without distal radioulnar joint instability.

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