Flexor retinaculum

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Aaron Wong et al.

The flexor retinaculum (also known as the transverse carpal ligament) is a rectangular-shaped fibrous band located at the ventral aspect of the wrist.

Gross anatomy

On the radial side, it attaches to the scaphoid tubercle and the ridge of the trapezium. On the ulnar side, it attaches to the pisiform and the hook of the hamate.

The flexor retinaculum encloses and forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. The ulna aspect of the flexor retinaculum forms the floor of Guyon's canal.

It has superficial and deep layers, which are separate on the radial aspect, containing the tendon of flexor carpi radialis.

  • proximally: deep fascia of the forearm
  • distally: palmar aponeurosis

Variant anatomy

  • radial aspect of the flexor retinaculum may be pierced by the median nerve 2
Anatomy: Upper limb
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Article information

rID: 33033
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Transverse carpal ligament
  • Flexor retinaculum at the wrist

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: carpal tunnel diagram
    Drag here to reorder.
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