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J Hand Surg Am. 1998 Nov;23(6):977-85.

An anatomic study of the ligamentous structure of the triangular fibrocartilage complex.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.


An anatomic study of the ligamentous structures of the triangular fibrocartilage complex and their attachments on the ulnar styloid was performed using 27 embalmed cadaver wrists. The dorsal and palmar distal radioulnar ligaments of the triangular fibrocartilage complex in each specimen contained a superficial and a deep portion. The deep portion of both ligaments inserted on the fovea of the ulna. The superficial portion of both ligaments surrounded the articular disc uniting at the ulnar-most portion of the articular disc. The tissue that is between the ulnar aspect of the superficial ligament (and integrated on its periphery) and the ulnar capsule is defined as the meniscus homologue. Anatomic variations in the meniscus homologue and the prestyloid recess (the cavity adjacent to the ulnar styloid) were seen in 1 of 3 ways; the narrow opening type in 74% of specimens, the wide opening type in 11%, and the no opening type in 15%. The ulnotriquetral ligament inserted on the palmar-radial aspect of the base of the ulnar styloid and the ulnolunate ligament inserted on the palmar border of the articular disc.

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