Short radiolunate ligament
The short radiolunate ligament is one of the intracapsular, extrinsic palmar radiocarpal ligaments and a volar stabilizer of the wrist and the lunate bone 1-4.
The short radiolunate ligament forms a part of the volar radiocarpal joint capsule and connects the palmar surface of the radial lunate fossa with the lunate bone. It runs in a fairly longitudinal fashion and is separated from the long radiolunate ligament by a triangular space containing the radioscapholunate ligament, which is not a real ligament but rather capsular extension containing nerves and vessels 1-3.
The short radiolunate ligament originates ulnar to the origin of the long radiolunate ligament from the lunate fossa of the distal radius 1-3.
Distally the short radiolunate ligament inserts onto the radial half of the palmar surface of the lunate bone 1-5.
The short radiolunate ligament can be visualized on ultrasound with the transducer placed at the volar aspect of the slightly extended wrist in the longitudinal plane slightly rotated towards the lunate bone. The long axis of the ligament is displayed as an echogenic, fibrillary structure attaching the ulnar part of the distal radius to the lunate bone 2,3.
The short radiolunate ligament can be visualized on MRI best in sagittal or 3D images 4,5. With proper knowledge of anatomy, it can be also variably seen on coronal images. It shows a hypointense appearance and is seen anterior to the radiocarpal joint space deep to the flexor tendons 4,5.
The ligament is most likely injured or involved in the following pathologic conditions ref:
- nondissociative carpal instability (CIND)
- ulnar translocation (type 1): rheumatoid arthritis, Madelung deformity
- lunate dislocation
- 1. Berger RA. The anatomy of the ligaments of the wrist and distal radioulnar joints. (2001) Clinical orthopaedics and related research. doi:10.1097/00003086-200102000-00006 - Pubmed
- 2. Gitto S, Draghi F. Normal Sonographic Anatomy of the Wrist With Emphasis on Assessment of Tendons, Nerves, and Ligaments. (2016) Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. 35 (5): 1081-94. doi:10.7863/ultra.15.06105 - Pubmed
- 3. Taljanovic MS, Goldberg MR, Sheppard JE, Rogers LF. US of the intrinsic and extrinsic wrist ligaments and triangular fibrocartilage complex--normal anatomy and imaging technique. (2011) Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 31 (1): e44. doi:10.1148/rg.e44 - Pubmed
- 4. Timins ME, Jahnke JP, Krah SF, Erickson SJ, Carrera GF. MR imaging of the major carpal stabilizing ligaments: normal anatomy and clinical examples. (1995) Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 15 (3): 575-87. doi:10.1148/radiographics.15.3.7624564 - Pubmed
- 5. Rominger MB, Bernreuter WK, Kenney PJ, Lee DH. MR imaging of anatomy and tears of wrist ligaments. (1993) Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 13 (6): 1233-46; discussion 1247-8. doi:10.1148/radiographics.13.6.8290721 - Pubmed