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Short radiolunate ligament

Dr Joachim Feger et al.

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

Article information

rID: 81935
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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