TFCC - Weight bearing test

Weight Bearing Test is the Best way to know to test if you have a TFCC tear. 

What is the Weight Bearing test and why is it important? The weight bearing test is a measure of how much weight you are able to pass through your wrist and hand. Once you have the WristWidget® fitted properly, you can start by testing your own weight bearing tolerance. All you need is a non-digital analog scale. Digital scales are NOT effective. 

Why can't I use a digital scale?
  
   

Think of it this way... A digital scale measures static weight. A 10# bag of flour will weigh 10#.

We're actually looking for how much weight your wrist can bear, or perhaps better stated, your pressing ability.  With an analog (non-digital) scale, you can see visually where your abilities lie and what the consistent weight bearing number is for your wrist. For your convenience, we've added them to our inventory.  Shop here

Your results on a digital scale gives you an untrue value for the severity of your injury. 

The human wrist is capable of pressing 60-120 lbs. of weight on each wrist. If your injury is to the TFCC and you're experiencing ulnar-sided wrist pain, you will notice that your uninjured wrist is normal and your injured wrist hurts when you push down on the scale. The test is not intended to hurt you. It is to measure where you are starting, where you need to go (the uninjured wrist) and the effects of the WristWidget®. 

 The Weight Bearing Test is oftentimes more reliable than an MRI and much, much less expensive.
The Weight-bearing test must be performed by every patient with a diagnosis of a TFCC tear.  In 100% of the cases I have seen, every TFCC tear presented with painful and diminished weight bearing tolerance.  They all show changes with the tape or WristWidget®. 

This is not the case for tendonitis, fractures, UT tears and much more.  The Weight-bearing test is reliable, affordable and specific. - Wendy 
 Click here for a pdf transcript of the video. 

 

 

HOW TO PERFORM THE WEIGHT BEARING TEST

Use a NON-digital scale (also called dial, mechanical, or analog scales). They are available for less than $10 USD, OR perform the test on the scale in the store. For your convenience, we've added them to our inventory.  Shop here

 

Place scale on the floor, or the seat of a solid chair.  Place palm in the center of the scale, fingers pointing towards 12:00, elbow over the wrist. When pressing on the scale, remember NO Pain. You are simply determining your ability.

1. Test the healthy wrist first (record the results)

2. Test the injured wrist – slowly 
Stop at the edge of pain – any pain! (record the results)

Put on the WristWidget®, or tape the wrist as shown in the video. (Watch the video for important instructions.)
Watch video to learn how to tape your wrist for testing.


3. RETEST the injured wrist taped or wearing the WristWidget®. (record the results)

Record your results: Download Weight Bearing Test Log to measure your progress. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you did NOT notice a big difference in the amount of weight you can bear with and without tape, or there is not a marked difference between the two wrists, then you probably do NOT have a TFCC injury and the WristWidget® won't aid in healing.

If you have a TFCC injury there should be an immediate increase in weight-bearing ability, and your pain should be greatly relieved. You have a TFCC tear are a candidate for the WristWidget® which will allow the TFCC to completely heal itself without surgery.

INJURED WRIST TEST RESULTS WHEN TAPED/WITH WRISTWIDGET

< 45# / < 20 kg 45-65#  / 20-29 kg > 65# / >29 kg 
Severe injury Moderate injury Mild injury

Click for protocol

Treatment protocol for Moderate TFCC injuries

Click for protocol

Treatment protocol for Mild injuries

Click for protocol

  

Print - TFCC Tear information

TFCC information here

PRINT - TFCC Treatment protocol
Recovery Protocol here.  

 

 

What do I do until I get my WristWidget®?

Tape your wrist (as in the photo above) until it arrives. Protect the wrist. No lifting over 2 lbs. keep the elbow and shoulder moving and stretched. Change diet. Start acupuncture. Don’t make it any worse. A test result of <45# lbs is not a functional wrist so don’t push it. Let it rest.

 

How do I know if my wrist is healing?
Measure your weight bearing tolerance while wearing the WristWidget every 7 days. This should be done to the edge before pain but no further. Record your measurements to keep track of your progress as your wrist heals. Follow the TFCC Recovery Protocol handout above.  Your results should improve each week.  If it does not, please contact us - let's see what's causing the delay. 

 

I can press 65 with my bad wrist - do I have a tear? Am I healed?
If your uninjured wrist is able to press 100 lbs. and your injured wrist can press  65 lbs, you are functional yet still have a 35% loss. 

 

So when it starts feeling great, resist the urge to start working your wrist as if it were unhurt.  Be patient and wait until the uninjured and the injured (without the WristWidget®) wrist press the same weight. THEN and only then will you be at 100%.

 

How long do I have to wear the WristWidget®?
Healing time varies depending on the severity of the injury. Most require 4-8 weeks of use, but up to 12 weeks is possible if you have a complete tear.  This is a time investment that is worth making.  Give your wrist the time needed to heal so you can be active again.