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Arthroscopic one-tunnel transosseous foveal repair for triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) peripheral tear



Arthroscopic repair of a peripheral triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tear is a promising, minimally invasive surgical technique, especially in patients with symptomatic distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) instability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical result of arthroscopic one-tunnel transosseous foveal repair for peripheral TFCC tears.


Sixteen patients who underwent TFCC foveal repair were retrospectively evaluated. The mean follow-up period was 31.1 months. The torn TFCC of all patients was repaired with the arthroscopic one-tunnel transosseous foveal repair technique. Postoperative outcomes were evaluated using the visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, wrist range of motion, grip strength, Mayo wrist score, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (Quick DASH) score, and postoperative complications.


On arthroscopic examination, all 16 patients showed Palmer 1B type peripheral TFCC tears with foveal disruption. Among them, 13 patients had a proximal component TFCC tear (Atzei class 3) and 3 patients had a complete TFCC tear (Atzei class 2). At the final follow-up, the mean range of the pronation–supination arc (P = 0.03) and grip strength (P = 0.001) was significantly increased. Twelve patients had normal stability of the DRUJ and six patients showed mild laxity compared with the contralateral side. The mean VAS for pain perception decreased from 3.7 to 0.8 (P = 0.001). The modified Mayo wrist (P = 0.001) and Quick DASH (P = 0.001) scores showed significant functional improvement. No surgery-related complications occurred.


The present study shows that arthroscopic one-tunnel transosseous repair is a good treatment strategy for TFCC foveal tears in terms of reliable pain relief, functional improvement, and re-establishment of DRUJ stability.

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Correspondence to Jong Woong Park.

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The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Ji Hun Park and Dongmin Kim equally contributed in this article.

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Park, J.H., Kim, D. & Park, J.W. Arthroscopic one-tunnel transosseous foveal repair for triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) peripheral tear. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 138, 131–138 (2018).

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  • TFCC
  • Foveal tear
  • Wrist arthroscopy
  • Transosseous repair