Lister's tubercle

Last revised by Dr Joshua Yap on 13 Sep 2022

Lister's tubercle or the dorsal tubercle of the radius is a bony protuberance on the dorsal surface of the distal radius. It separates the 2nd (ECRB and ECRL) and 3rd (EPLextensor compartments. It acts as a pulley for the EPL tendon, changing its mechanical direction of action.

Variant anatomy

The tubercle can display a range of morphologies, so much so that Chan and Chong 2 have proposed a classification system based on the dominance (height) of the radial and ulnar peaks of the tubercle found on MRI:

  • type 1: radial peak larger than ulnar peak
  • type 2: similar radial and ulnar peaks
  • type 3: ulnar peak larger than radial peak

Related pathology

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Case 1: Lister's tubercle variant
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