Lateral ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow

Last revised by Dr Joachim Feger on 18 Sep 2021

The lateral ulnar collateral ligament (LUCL) of the elbow is a primary stabilizer of the elbow joint to varus and external rotatory stress 1-6.

Gross anatomy

It is a part of the lateral (radial) collateral ligament complex and located at the posterolateral aspects of the elbow joint. It takes its course immediately posterior to the radial collateral ligament and further distally posterior to the radial head, where it blends with fibers of the annular ligament and runs further to the proximal ulna.

Function

The lateral ulnar collateral ligament functions as a static stabilizer of the elbow joint and as a primary restraint to varus force external rotatory stress 1-6.

Attachments
  • humeral origin at the posteroinferior aspect of the lateral (radial) epicondyle just posterior to the origin of the radial collateral ligament
  • distal (ulnar) insertion at the proximal part of the supinator crest in close relationship to the posterior attachment of the annular ligament

Related pathology

  • posterolateral rotatory instability (stage 1+) 
    • primary restraint 1-4
    • lateral ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction is considered as primary treatment for recurrent instability 4
  • ​varus instability

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Cases and figures

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