Anatomy of the elbow joint


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Anatomy of the elbow joint

Upper limb


Bones of the upper limb

Fascia, vessels and nerves of the upper limb

Anatomy of the brachial plexus

Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions

Anatomy of the arm

Muscles of the forearm

Vessels and nerves of the forearm

Muscles of the hand

Anatomy of the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints

Anatomy of the glenohumeral joint

Anatomy of the elbow joint

Anatomy of the radioulnar joints

Joints of the wrist and hand

Anatomy of the axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates

Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder

Anatomy clinical correlates: Axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm

Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand

Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves


Anatomy of the elbow joint

Recall questions

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Evode Iradufasha, MD

Sam Gillespie, BSc

Alaina Mueller

Ursula Florjanczyk, MScBMC

The elbow joint is a hinge type of synovial joint, and it’s actually made up of two separate joints which work together as one.

The first joint, called the humero-ulnar joint, is between the trochlea of the humerus and the trochlear notch of the ulna; and second one, called the humero-radial joint situated between the capitulum of the humerus and the superior aspect of the head of the radius.

A good way to remember this is thinking of the ‘CRAzy TULips’. The CRA in CRAzy represents the Capitulum which articulates with the RAdius, and the TUL in TULips represents the Trochlea which articulates with the ULna.

The elbow joint is covered by a synovial membrane, which is surrounded by a joint capsule.

The joint capsule extends from the margins of the articular surfaces of the capitulum and trochlea on the humerus, to the coronoid process anteriorly; and to the olecranon fossa posteriorly.

On both the medial and lateral sides, the elbow joint is strengthened by two strong ligaments called the collateral ligaments which are thickenings of the elbow joint capsule .

On the medial side, also called the ulnar side, there’s the ulnar collateral ligament, which extends from the medial epicondyle of the humerus to the coronoid process and the olecranon of the ulna.

The ulnar collateral ligament actually consists of three separate bands: anterior, posterior and oblique.

The anterior band is the strongest, and it runs from the medial epicondyle to the tubercle of the coronoid process.

This band helps limit elbow extension. Next, there’s the fan-shaped posterior band, the weakest of all, and it runs from the medial epicondyle to the olecranon of the ulna.


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