Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

High-resolution 3 T MRI of traumatic and degenerative triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) abnormalities using Palmer and Outerbridge classifications.


To investigate the usefulness of high-resolution 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the evaluation of traumatic and degenerative triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) abnormalities among three groups: patients presenting with wrist pain who were (a) younger than age 50 years or (b) age 50 or older (PT<50 and PT≥50, respectively), and (c) asymptomatic controls who were younger than age 50 years (AC).High-resolution 3 T MRI was evaluated retrospectively in 96 patients, including 47 PT<50, 38 PT≥50, and 11 AC. Two board-certified radiologists reviewed the MRI images independently. MRI features of TFCC injury were analysed according to the Palmer classification, and cartilage degeneration around the TFCC was evaluated using the Outerbridge classification. Differences in MRI findings among these groups were detected using chi-square test. Cohen's kappa was calculated to assess interobserver and intra-observer reliability.The incidence of Palmer class 1A, 1C and 1D traumatic TFCC injury was significantly (p<0.05) higher in PT≥50 than in PT<50 (class 1A: 47.4% versus 27.7%, class 1C: 31.6% versus 12.8%, and class 1D: 21.1% versus 2.1%). Likewise, MRI findings of TFCC degeneration were observed more frequently in PT≥50 than in PT<50 (p<0.01). Outerbridge grade 2 or higher cartilage degeneration was significantly (p<0.01) more frequently seen in PT≥50 than in PT<50 (55.3% versus 17% in the lunate, 28.9% versus 4.3% in the triquetrum, 73.7% versus 12.8% in the ulna).High-resolution wrist MRI at 3 T enables detailed evaluation of TFCC traumatic injury and degenerative changes using the Palmer and Outerbridge classifications, with good or excellent interobserver and intra-observer reliability.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View