Wrist arthrocentesis landmarks (ultrasound)

Case contributed by David Carroll
Diagnosis not applicable


Normal wrist for reference.

Patient Data

Age: 30
Gender: Male

Lister's tubercle (LT)

Extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB)

Extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL)

Distal radius (Rad)

Scaphoid (Sc)

Radiocarpal joint (*)

Case Discussion

Lister's tubercle (LT) is a conspicuous landmark on the dorsal cortex of the radius. Immediately radial to this tubercle is the second extensor compartment, containing the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) and extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL) tendons.

Rotation 90o allows a longitudinal view of the radiocarpal joint. The fibrillar extensor carpi radialis brevis is seen traversing the near field. Visualization allows one to perform arthrocentesis, if necessary, without violating this delicate structure. The distal cortical surface of the radius (Rad) is on the left, with the triangular dorsal surface of the scaphoid (Sc) visible to the right. Radiocarpal joint effusions, when present, may be readily visualized in the intervening space (*) which contains no effusion in this patient.

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