The dorsopalmar stability of the distal radioulnar joint

Paul R. Stuart, Richard A. Berger, Ronald L. Linscheid, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


Sixteen fresh-frozen adult human cadaveric upper extremities were used in a biomechanical analysis of distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) stability. The relative contribution to stability of the DRUJ by the surrounding anatomic structures presumed to stabilize the joint was analyzed with respect to forearm rotation and wrist flexion and extension using a purpose-built 4-axis materials testing machine. The dominant structures stabilizing the DRUJ were the ligamentous components of the triangular fibrocartilage complex proper. The major constraint to dorsal translation of the distal ulna relative to the radius is the palmar radioulnar ligament. Palmar translation of the distal ulna relative to the radius is constrained primarily by the dorsal radioulnar ligament, with secondary constraint provided by the palmar radioulnar ligament and interosseous membrane. The ulnocarpal ligaments and extensor carpi ulnaris subsheath did not contribute significantly to DRUJ stability; however, approximately 20% of DRUJ constraint is provided by the articular contact of the radius and ulna. These relationships were consistent regardless of wrist position or degree of forearm rotation. Copyright (C) 2000 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-699
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Biomechanics
  • Distal radioulnar joint
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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