Distal radioulnar articulation

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Distal radioulnar articulation
Ligaments of wrist. Anterior view.
Vertical section through the articulations at the wrist, showing the synovial cavities
Latin Articulatio radioulnaris distalis
Gray's p.325
TA A03.5.10.001
FMA 35290
Anatomical terminology

The distal radioulnar articulation (inferior radioulnar joint) is a joint between the two bones in the forearm; the radius and ulna. It is one of two joints between the radius and ulna, the other being the proximal radioulnar articulation. The distal radioulnar articulation is the one of the two closest to the wrist and hand.

The distal radioulnar articulation pivot-joint formed between the head of ulna and the ulnar notch on the lower extremity of radius.


The articular surfaces are connected together by the following ligaments:


Injuries to the distal radioulnar articulation often result from falls onto an outstretched hand. Injury can occur with concurrent fracture of the distal radius, the ulna, or can be isolated. A classification system has been proposed by Estaminet and colleagues.[1]

Estaminet Classification[edit]

Estaminet classified injuries of the distal radioulnar articulation into four categories with two sublcasses: purely ligamentous (subclass A) and those with associated boney injury (subclass B).

  • Estaminet I - Attenuation on MRI only
  • Estaminet II - Volar distal radioulnar ligament is involved. Unstable in supination. Fixation should be in pronation.
  • Estaminet III - Dorsal distal radioulnar ligament is involved. Unstable in pronation. Fixation should be in supination.
  • Estaminet IV - Both ligaments are involved. Unstable in both supination and pronation. Fixation is in neutral.

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Estaminet et al. Estaminet-Klassifikation von distal radioulnar Aussprache-Trauma. 20. Jahresversammlung der europäischen Orthopädischen Forschungsgesellschaft (EORS 2012), am 26–28 September, Amsterdam, Die Niederlande

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

External links[edit]