Role of the extensor carpi ulnaris and its sheath on dynamic carpal stability

G. Salva-Coll, M. Garcia-Elias, M. M. Leon-Lopez, M. Llusa-Perez, A. Rodríguez-Baeza

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Ten cadaveric forearms were tested using a wrist testing apparatus specifically designed to investigate the mechanisms of muscle stabilization of the wrist. The specimens were set in a jig allowing the distal row to migrate proximally and rotate around the axis of pronosupination. The extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) was loaded with specific weights. Reactive rotations of the scaphoid, triquetrum, and capitate were measured by an electromagnetic motion tracking device. Loading the ECU caused pronation of both proximal and distal rows. After sectioning its sheath, the overall direction of the movement remained unchanged, but there was a 40% and 50% decrease of the pronation power over the distal and proximal carpal row, respectively. In addition to stabilizing the distal radiolunar joint, the ECU is an important structure that contributes to the dynamic stability of the wrist. Furthermore, its sheath plays a crucial role in maintaining the effect of the ECU muscle on the carpus. © The Author(s) 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-548
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery: European Volume
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012


  • dynamic stability
  • Extensor carpi ulnaris
  • forearm muscles
  • kinematics
  • sheath
  • wrist


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