Wrist Arthroscopy (Ganglions and TFCC)

What is it : Wrist arthroscopy is a procedure where we put a telescope in your wrist and can assess and treat certain conditions through small incisions. One condition is wrist ganglions that you may have on the back of your wrist. We can remove the ganglion using mini incisions which we hope will allow you to recover quickly. Another condition is those with a ‘TFCC’ tear and have pain on the outside of their wrist. This is a tear of a cartilage which is in your wrist. We can clean up the tear or repair it.

Management : Wrist ganglions can decrease in size and disappear with rest and splinting and occasionally with a cortisone injection. However if this does not work then surgery is also successful. We can do this using a telescope technique with small cuts on your skin. Please note however, these ganglions can come back – in the same or different locations in your wrist. If you have been told you have a TFCC tear, you will often undergo a period of hand therapy as this can be successful in a large proportion of patients. If you still have pain and loss of function then we can perform an operation to either tidy up the tear or repair it depending on its location and type.

Post-operative : After we remove a ganglion using the telescope technique, you can move your wrist after the operation. You may have pain for a few weeks but this will usually settle. If your TFCC is repaired then you will have to remain in a splint or plaster for 6 weeks to allow the repair to be protected. It can take up to 6 months to regain your movement.