The wrist is a complex arrangement of bones held by strong ligaments. Injuries to these ligaments can be simple sprains that with recover spontaneously, but some can result in major problems with the function of the wrist, and lead to the development of other issues like wrist arthritis. Injuries to the scapholunate ligament and the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) are the most common ligament tears requiring treatment.


Ligament tears in the wrist can be the result of sporting or motor vehicle accidents, or a simple fall onto an outstretched hand. Long term attritional rupture can also result in wrist ligament deficiency.


Pain and stiffness in the wrist are usually the main symptoms, but some people also experience a ‘clunking’ sensation with certain movements.


MRI scanning is the main type of imaging for wrist ligament injuries. Occasionally a wrist arthroscopy is required as a more invasive form of investigation.


A combination of clinical examination and MRI scan is sufficient to diagnose most ligament tears, and occasionally an arthroscopy is required to confirm the diagnosis before definitive treatment.

Related Information

Scapholunate Reconstruction

Wrist Arthroscopy