If you have been diagnosed with a TFCC tear, your doctor will probably recommend wearing a splint on your wrist to decrease movement, help ease pain, and speed up the healing process. You should feel relief, to some degree, as soon as you put the splint on. However, you will want to follow these tips for wearing a TFCC tear splint.
Get the Correct Splint
There are numerous different types of wrist splints on the market, and they do not all serve the same purpose. Some are better for patients with carpal tunnel, and others are designed specifically for sprains. You should look for a splint that is specifically recommended for TFCC tears. Your doctor should be able to recommend a certain brand or even a specific model. If they did not include this on your discharge paperwork or send you home with a specific splint, call and ask before buying. Wearing the wrong splint can do more harm than good.
Wear It at Night
Your doctor will probably tell you to wear the splint at night. Some patients find the splint uncomfortable when they are trying to sleep, so they remove it and ignore this advice. Understand that by doing so, you are severely inhibiting the healing process. You move your wrist without realizing it at night, and you may even roll over and worsen the tear. You might need to experiment with propping your wrist up on a pillow or positioning it in different ways to make sleeping with the splint more comfortable, but doing so is essential.
Don't Use the Splint to Do Things You Shouldn't
Wearing the splint will make going through your daily activities like brushing your teeth and opening doors more comfortable. It is not, however, an excuse to perform more arduous tasks with your wrist, whether or not doing so actually hurts. You can and will over-tax your wrist even with the splint on if you do strenuous activities such as lifting weights or throwing a baseball. The only real activity you should be doing with your wrist is simple, non-weight-bearing actions and any physical therapy your doctor has prescribed.
Many patients with mild to moderate TFCC tears heal on their own within a few months of proper splint use and physical therapy. Keep the above tips in mind, and talk to your doctor if you have any remaining questions about splint use and recovery.