Radiocarpal joint

The radiocarpal joint is a major synovial joint of the wrist and is an example of a condyloid joint

Osteology

The distal radius broadens to possess a large surface, and has a radial styloid process that usually extends 9-12 mm distal to the articular surface of the ulnar. This results in an ulnar slant and palmar inclination at the radiocarpal joint.

Location

The joint occurs proximally between the distal end of the radius and the articular disc of the distal radioulnar joint, and distally by the proximal carpal row (the scaphoid, lunate and triquetral bones).

Movement
  • flexion
  • extension
  • adduction / ulnar deviation
  • abduction / radial deviation
  • circumduction
Articulation

Key features of the radiocarpal joint:

Ligaments

Multiple separate ligaments stabilise the adjacent carpal bones to the distal radius.

Volar surface
  • radial collateral ligament: attach to the styloid process
  • radioscaphocapitate ligament
  • radiolunate ligament
  • radioscapholunate ligament
Dorsal surface
  • radioscaphoid ligament
  • radiolunate ligament
  • radiotriquetral ligament
Tendons

The tendon of the brachioradialis muscle attaches to the styloid process.

  • anterior and posterior interosseous nerves from the radial and median nerves respectively

Ulnar variance refers to the relative positioning of the ulnar and radial articular surfaces at the level of the radiolunate articulation.

  • neutral: same level
  • positive: ulna is distal to the radius
  • negative: ulna is proximal to the radius

Upper limb anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 33584
Section: Anatomy
Tag: wrist
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • wrist joint

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