Medial collateral ligament complex of the elbow

The medial (ulnar) collateral ligament (MCL/UCL) complex is a major stabiliser of the elbow joint and resists valgus stress.

The MCL complex runs from the humerus to the ulna and is composed of three parts 1,3,4,7:

  • anterior bundle
    • inferior medial epicondyle to the sublime tubercle of the medial coronoid process
    • cord-like
  • posterior bundle
    • medial epicondyle to medial olecranon
    • thickening of the joint capsule
  • transverse (or oblique) bundle (Cooper's ligament
    • runs between the inferior fibres of the anterior and posterior bands (i.e. medial olecranon to medial coronoid process)
    • almost no role in elbow stabilisation
  • accessory ligament (a.k.a. extra band): posterior joint capsule to transverse ligament (25%) 1
MRI
  • the anterior band is the only part of the MCL complex which is delineated as a separate structure and is best seen on coronal images
Upper limb anatomy
Share article

Article information

rID: 29742
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Medial (ulnar) collateral ligament complex
  • Ulnar collateral ligament complex
  • Triangular ulnar collateral ligament

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert accept

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

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.