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Qatar

Surgeons perform rare wrist operation at Al-Ahli Hospital

Al-Ahli Hospital has said surgeons at its Orthopaedic and Traumatology Department have performed a minimally-invasive surgery, which is a “rare one to be done in a private hospital”, for a Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) tear.
TFCC tears are a common source of ulnar-sided wrist pain.
A 35-year-old Qatari tennis player and coach was operated upon by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Dr Erkki Kivela and his team for a TFCC tear, which is common among athletes who regularly rotate or put pressure on their wrists, according to a press statement from Al-Ahli Hospital.
Four months after the surgery, the patient is recovering fast, according to Dr Kivela.
“TFCC is an area between your ulna and wrist bones in the wrist. Your TFCC is made of several ligaments and tendons, as well as cartilage cushion,” he explained. “It stabilises your forearm bones and wrist when you grasp something with your hand or rotate your forearm.”
“Athletes who regularly rotate or put pressure on their wrists, like in gym exercise, tennis and gymnastics, have a higher risk of developing a TFCC tear,” Dr Kivela said. “To treat the TFCC tear of this patient, we conducted a minimally invasive arthroscopy.”
“During this procedure, we repair the damaged part of TFCC through a few small incisions around your wrist. In some cases, doctors may need traditional open surgery,” he said.
Dr Kivela emphasised that minimally-invasive arthroscopy surgery is not commonly available at private hospitals in Qatar.
“We use modern equipment and up-to-date minimally-invasive surgical techniques to provide an extensive and fully inclusive service within the Orthopaedic Department,” he said.
Dr Kivela also encouraged individuals with TFCC tear to consult an orthopaedic surgeon and get early treatment.
“Many people are not aware that TFCC can be treated by non-surgical and surgical methods. If resting your wrist and physical therapy don’t provide any relief, you may need surgery to repair the tear,” he added.
Type 1 TFCC tear can be caused by an injury.
For example, falling and landing on an outstretched hand can damage the cartilage, tendons or ligaments in your TFCC.
The type 2 tear is caused by the slow breakdown of the cartilage in one’s TFCC, usually due to age or an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
“You are also at a higher risk if you have previously injured your wrist,” said Dr Kivela.
Diagnosis of TFCC tear is commonly done by clinical examination.
Accuracy of MRI scans lies between 60-80%.
X-rays will usually look normal.
“The recovery time for a TFCC tear depends on the type, severity and treatment of the injury. Following surgery, you’ll need to wear a cast to keep your wrist from moving, usually for about six to eight weeks.
“Once your cast is removed, you may need physical therapy before your wrist regains its previous strength and function,” Dr Kivela noted.
A case study suggests that TFCC tears that do not require surgery can take up to 12 weeks to fully heal.
Following surgery, a TFCC tear may take around 3-6 months to heal completely.

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