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Sports Medicine

TFCC Tear and Calcifications

01/11/2011

Question:

My son (15) tore his TFCC playing hockey 2 years ago. He has had three cortisone shots for pain. The last one was not effective for very long, so we are considering surgery. Recently on xray they saw calcifications which werent there a year ago. I am not sure what is causing the calcifications. His doctor suggested going in and cleaning out the calcifications and removing the tear. He said it should clear up the pain but I have read where others have had this surgery and still have pain and was looking for a second opinion. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

As you probably know, a valid second opinion requires a medical history, physical examination, and personal review of imaging studies, none of which is possible over the Internet.

The longer any painful condition persists, the less likely it can be completely "cured" by anything, including surgery.

It is not uncommon for calcium to be deposited in areas of prior tissue damage or degenerative change.

Before surgery is decided upon, it would be preferable to be sure a comprehensive course of nonoperative treatment has been tried... this would consist of much more than 3 cortisone injections.

It would not be unreasonable for your son to seek a second opinion, preferably from a hand specialist who's (also?) had considerable experience treating TFCC tears.

Finally, for further information, if you've not already done so, perform a Search of the NetWellness website using the term "TFCC"; this currently yields 6 results.

For more information:

Go to the Sports Medicine health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University