Volar radioulnar ligament

Last revised by Bahman Rasuli on 20 Jul 2021

The volar radioulnar ligament is one of the primary stabilizers of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) and forms part of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) 1,2.

  • location: extending from the anterior margin of the ulnar notch at the distal radius to the anterior portion of the head of the ulna
  • blood supply: palmar and dorsal branches of the anterior interosseous artery
  • innervation: anterior and posterior interosseous nerve
  • relations: dorsal radioulnar ligament

Along with the dorsal radioulnar ligament, the volar radioulnar ligament forms the primary soft tissue stabilizers of the distal radioulnar joint 1. There are deep and superficial divisions of the volar radioulnar ligament which attach into the fovea and ulnar styloid respectively 2.

The articulation between the radius and ulna is formed by the ulnar seat 3 and the medial articular facet (sigmoid notch) of the radius 1. The ulna head is semicylindrical and convex in shape while the sigmoid notch is heterogeneously concave which contributes to the propensity for joint instability 1.

The volar radioulnar ligament is intimately related to the dorsal radioulnar ligament. During pronation, the volar ligament becomes progressively lax while the dorsal ligament tightens and the converse occurs during supination 5.

The general blood supply to the distal radioulnar joint is via the palmar and dorsal branches of the anterior interosseous artery 4. At the proximal border of the pronator quadratus these branches arborize to supply the capsule as well as the palmar, medial and dorsal sides of the articular disc while the central portion of the disc is avascular 4.

Drainage occurs via veins that correspond to the named arteries.

The nervous supply is via the anterior interosseous nerve and posterior interosseous nerve which are branches of the median and radial nerve respectively.

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