The goal of most active people who have orthopedic surgery for some sort of sports or exercise injury is almost always to return to sports or exercise. It’s true even with wrist injuries. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss return to sports after surgery for a TFCC tear in the wrist.
Can I go back to the gym and perform heavy lifting a year after arthroscopic surgery for a TFCC wrist injury?
The triangular fibrocartilage complex, or TFCC, is a thick band of cartilage and ligaments on the ulnar side of the wrist. This is the side of the wrist below the pinky, or little finger. The TFCC is a shock-absorbing and stabilizing structure, much like the meniscus of the knee.
Athletes in sports like tennis often suffer a TFCC injury, although it can affect people in activities that involve a lot of wrist rotation or compression, like golf, baseball or gymnastics.
If an active person has pain or clicking of that side of the wrist due to a TFCC injury and rest or wearing a brace don’t relieve the symptoms, arthroscopic wrist surgery can be a good option. Depending on the tear, the surgeon can put stitches in the TFCC to sew it back together, or he could trim out the torn portion.
Recovery and return to sports depend on the nature of the surgery. If it’s a trimming procedure, the surgeon might allow the patient to return to physically demanding activities like weightlifting within weeks. For a repair, it might be several months. As I discuss in the video above, once the repair has fully healed, most athletes can perform most any sport or exercise.
Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.
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