Ulnar-sided wrist pain in the athlete (TFCC/DRUJ/ECU)

  • Eric Quan Pang
  • Jeffrey Yao
Hand and Wrist Sports Medicine (E Tolo and L Dwyer, section editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hand and Wrist Sports Medicine


Purpose of review

The goal of this manuscript is to review key historic and recent literature regarding extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU), triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) injuries, particularly in athletes.

Recent findings

Many recent studies examining the ECU focus on clinical and radiographic diagnosis. Several physical exam findings are described in addition to the use of MRI and US. Imaging studies must be clinically correlated due to high incidence of findings in asymptomatic patients.

In regard to the TFCC/DRUJ, there are numerous recent studies that support the use of MRA as an adjunctive diagnostic study. There are also a number of repair constructs that are described for the various different kinds of TFCC pathology reviewed here.


In summary, there are a number of options for the diagnosis and treatment of ulnar-sided wrist pain. Patient factors, especially in the athletic population, must be taken into account when approaching any patient with these pathologies.


Athlete DRUJ ECU TFCC Ulnar wrist pain 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Eric Quan Pang declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Jeffrey Yao reports personal fees from Smith and Nephew Endoscopy during the conduct of study. He also reports personal fees from Arthrex, BME, McGinley Orthopedics, and Trimed, as well as a grant from Medartis, outside of the submitted work.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

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


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryStanfordUSA

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