open access

Vol 65, No 3 (2006)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2006-06-08
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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The morphology and function of the quadrate ligament

R.S. Tubbs, M.M. Shoja, A.A. Khaki, M. Lyerly, M. Loukas, J.T. O’Neil, E.G. Salter, W.J. Oakes
Folia Morphol 2006;65(3):225-227.

open access

Vol 65, No 3 (2006)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2006-06-08
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

There is a paucity of information in the literature regarding the quadrate ligament and the information that does exist is extremely conflicting. We dissected 30 cadavers (60 sides) to determine the morphology and function of this enigmatic ligament. A quadrate ligament (thickening of the elbow joint capsule) was found in all specimens. In all specimens this band was distinct from the circumferential fibres of the annular ligament. The length, width, and thickness of the quadrate ligament were found to be 11 mm, 8 mm, and 1 mm respectively. This ligament not only aided in securing the neck of the radius to the ulna but also resisted excessive supination and, to a lesser degree, pronation of the forearm. Following transection of the quadrate ligament, the head of the radius was secured to the ulna considerably less firmly and supination and pronation increased by 10 to 20 degrees and 5 to 8 degrees respectively. The quadrate ligament contributes to proximal radioulnar stability, limits the "spin" of this joint, and should be considered in manipulation, surgery, or imaging of the proximal forearm.

Abstract

There is a paucity of information in the literature regarding the quadrate ligament and the information that does exist is extremely conflicting. We dissected 30 cadavers (60 sides) to determine the morphology and function of this enigmatic ligament. A quadrate ligament (thickening of the elbow joint capsule) was found in all specimens. In all specimens this band was distinct from the circumferential fibres of the annular ligament. The length, width, and thickness of the quadrate ligament were found to be 11 mm, 8 mm, and 1 mm respectively. This ligament not only aided in securing the neck of the radius to the ulna but also resisted excessive supination and, to a lesser degree, pronation of the forearm. Following transection of the quadrate ligament, the head of the radius was secured to the ulna considerably less firmly and supination and pronation increased by 10 to 20 degrees and 5 to 8 degrees respectively. The quadrate ligament contributes to proximal radioulnar stability, limits the "spin" of this joint, and should be considered in manipulation, surgery, or imaging of the proximal forearm.
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Keywords

anatomy; elbow; forearm; stability; radius; ulnar

About this article
Title

The morphology and function of the quadrate ligament

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 65, No 3 (2006)

Pages

225-227

Published online

2006-06-08

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2006;65(3):225-227.

Keywords

anatomy
elbow
forearm
stability
radius
ulnar

Authors

R.S. Tubbs
M.M. Shoja
A.A. Khaki
M. Lyerly
M. Loukas
J.T. O’Neil
E.G. Salter
W.J. Oakes

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