UAMS Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Joints and Ligaments of the Upper Limb

Gross Anatomy



Joints and Ligaments of the Upper Limb - Listed Alphabetically

JointDescriptionSignificance
annular ligamentsyndesmosissurrounds radial head, holding it against ulna
carpometacarpal joint, thumbsynovial, saddle (concavoconvex)connects trapezium with metacarpal of thumb; flexion/extension, abduction/adduction
carpometacarpal joints, fingerssynovial, planeconnects distal carpal bones with metacarpals of fingers; tightly bound by ligaments to limit motion
coracoacromial ligamentsyndesmosisconnects coracoid process with acromion; passes superior to humeral head & supraspinatus tendon
coracoclavicular ligamentsyndesmosisconnects upper surface of coracoid process to under surface of clavicle; often subdivided into conoid (posteromedial) & trapezoid ligaments
elbow jointsynovial; hinge (gingylmus), gliding and pivotcomplex joint consisting of humeroulnar, humeroradial and proximal radioulnar articulations; strengthened primarily by radial & ulnar collateral ligaments
glenohumeral ligament, inferiorcapsular ligamentconnects humerus to scapula; represents an anteroinferior thickening of the shoulder joint capsule; weak support for joint
glenohumeral ligament, middlecapsular ligamentconnects humerus to scapula; represents an anterointermediate thickening of the shoulder joint capsule; weak support for joint
glenohumeral ligament, superiorcapsular ligamentconnects humerus to scapula; represents an anterosuperior thickening of the shoulder joint capsule; weak support for joint
intercarpal ligaments, dorsalcapsular ligamentsconnects dorsal surfaces of adjacent carpal bones, running primarily transversely
intercarpal ligaments, palmarcapsular ligaments
interosseous membranesyndesmosisconnects shafts/diaphyses of radius & ulna
interphalangeal jointssynovial, hingeconnect proximal & middle phalanges (proximal interphalangeal joint) and middle & distal phalanges (distal interphalangeal joint); strengthened by collateral ligaments
metacarpophalangeal jointssynovial, condyloid or ellipsoidconnects metacarpal head to base of proximal phalanx; strengthened by collateral ligaments; heads of metacarpals are firmly joined by transverse metcarpal ligaments to provide a stable platform for finger movements
midcarpal jointsynovial, glidingconnects proximal & distal rows of carpal bones
oblique cordsyndesmosisconnects radial shaft to ulnar shaft; passes obliquely lateral & distal from lateral surface of ulna to attach to radius medially near radial tuberosity
radial collateral ligament, elbowcapsular ligamentconnects lateral epicondyle of humerus with radius
radial collateral ligament, wristcapsular ligamentconnects styloid process of radius with scaphoid & trapezium
radiocarpal (wrist) jointsynovial, ellipsoidalcharacterized by an intracapsular articular disk; radius articulates with the proximal row of carpals
radioulnar joint, proximalsynovial, pivotconnects radial head with ulna; annular ligament holds radial head against radial notch of ulna
radioulnar joint, intermediatesyndesmosisinterosseous membrane connects radius to ulna; forces transferred from radius to ulna
radioulnar joint, distalsynovial, pivotcharacterized by an intracapsular articular disk
shoulder jointsynovial, ball & socketconnects humerus & scapula; glenoid labrum deepens the socket, glenohumeral ligaments located anteriorly; tendon of long head of biceps passes through shoulder joint, strengthened by the rotator cuff muscles
sternoclavicular ligamentcapsular ligamentconnects clavicle with sternum; described as separate anterior & posterior ligaments
sternoclavicular jointsynovialconnects clavicle with sternum; is subdivided by fibrous articular disc, strengthened by sternoclavicular & interclavicular ligaments, very strong - clavicle fractures before this joint disarticulates
sternoclavicular ligamentcapsular ligamentconnects clavicle with sternum; described as separate anterior & posterior ligaments
transverse metacarpal ligaments, deepsyndesmosisconnects metacarpophalangeal joints 2-5 together on their palmar surface
transverse scapular ligament, superiorsyndesmosispasses across scapular notch, converting it into a foramen containing suprascapular nerve
ulnar collateral ligament, elbowcapsular ligamentconnects medial epicondyle of humerus with ulna
ulnar collateral ligament, wristcapsular ligamentconnects styloid process of ulna to pisiform & triquetrum
wrist jointsynovial, gliding, hingeconnects distal radius with proximal row of carpal bones

 


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright © 1995.

The content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.




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