Changes in the morphology of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) on magnetic resonance arthrography related to disruption of ulnar foveal attachment

Ji Hun Park, Kyung Sik Ahn, Anseong Chang, Young Woo Kwon, In Cheul Choi, Jong Woong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To assess whether a proximal ligamentous component (PLC) of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) with a distally prolapsing morphology is associated with the presence of a TFCC foveal tear on arthroscopy. Methods: One-hundred thirty-two patients (134 wrists) who underwent MR arthrography and subsequent wrist arthroscopy between September 2014 and March 2018 were retrospectively evaluated. The degree of distal PLC prolapse was measured on coronal MR arthrography using the height-to-length ratio (HLR). Subjects’ demographics, ulnar variance, presence of a degenerative TFCC tear, and ulnar styloid nonunion were assessed. The association between specific variables and the presence of a foveal tear was investigated. Results: A TFCC foveal tear was identified in a total of 101 of 134 wrists examined by arthroscopy. Univariable analysis showed that the HLR of the PLC was significantly greater in the foveal tear group compared with the intact fovea group (44.6 vs. 38.9%, respectively, p < 0.001). Multivariable analysis showed that HLR was positively associated with a foveal tear (odds ratio [OR], 1.211; p < 0.001). The estimated cut-off value of the HLR was 41% (area under the curve [AUC] 0.77). Conclusions: PLCs with a distal prolapse pattern and large HLR are associated with TFCC foveal tears. The HLR of the PLC measured on coronal MR images can therefore be used as an additional predictor of tears of the foveal attachment of the TFCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1



  • Magnetic resonance arthrography
  • Morphology
  • Triangular fibrocartilage complex
  • Ulnar fovea
  • Wrist arthroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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