Role of the extensor carpi ulnaris in the stabilization of the lunotriquetral joint. An experimental study

María Mayte León-Lopez, Guillem Salvà-Coll, Marc Garcia-Elias, Alex Lluch-Bergadà, Manuel Llusá-Pérez

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Study design Experimental laboratory-based research in biomechanics. Introduction The mechanisms by which some lunotriquetral (LTq) ligament disruptions remain stable are not known. Purpose of the study To investigate the contribution of muscles in preventing carpal destabilization when the LTq ligaments are torn. Methods Ten fresh cadaver wrists, set vertical in a jig, were isometrically loaded through five wrist motor tendons. Changes in carpal alignment secondary to the application of loads were monitored by a Fastrak™ electromagnetic motion tracking device, before and after sectioning the LTq ligaments. Results After LTq ligaments sectioning, wrist loading forced the triquetrum into flexion (5.4 average) and supination (2.9). The only muscle capable of extending and pronating the collapsed triquetrum was the extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU). Conclusions Inadequate ECU muscle function is an important destabilizing factor in LTq deficient wrists. Dynamic LTq instabilities may benefit from proprioceptionally training the ECU muscle, while avoiding carpal supination torques. Level of evidence Basic science study; biomechanics study. © 2013 Hanley & Belfus, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)312-317
    JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


    • Carpal kinetics
    • Extensor carpi ulnaris
    • Lunotriquetral joint
    • Muscle control
    • Wrist instability


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