Lateral (radial) collateral ligament complex of the elbow

Assoc Prof Craig Hacking and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The lateral (radial) collateral ligament (LCL/RCL) complex is a major lateral stabilizer of the elbow joint and resists varus stress.

The LCL is a Y-shaped ligamentous complex composed of three parts 1, 2:

  1. annular ligament
    • from sigmoid notch to supinator crest of the ulna bone
    • forms a sling around the radial head
  2. radial collateral ligament
  3. lateral ulnar collateral ligament
    • lateral epicondyle to supinator crest of the ulna
  • accessory lateral collateral ligament 1
    • may be present in up to 33% of patients
    • runs from annular ligament to supinator crest
    • acts to reinforce the annular ligament
  • absence of lateral ulnar collateral ligament 1
Anatomy: Upper limb

Anatomy: Upper limb

Article information

rID: 29745
Section: Anatomy
Tag: elbow
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Lateral collateral ligament complex
  • Radial collateral ligament complex
  • Lateral (radial) collateral ligament complex

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: lateral elbow ligaments (Gray's illustration)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.