PURPOSE: To investigate the macroscopic anatomy and histological characteristics of the transverse carpal ligament and the flexor retinaculum of the wrist and to investigate their anatomical relationships and define appropriate terminology. METHODS: The volar regions of the wrists of 30 unembalmed subjects were examined by dissection and by histological and immunohistochemical staining. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging studies were also carried out on 10 subjects. RESULTS: The dissection study showed that the antebrachial fascia at the volar aspect of the wrist presents a reinforcement. From a histological point of view, it is composed of 3 layers of undulated collagen fiber bundles. Adjacent layers show different orientations of the collagen fibers. Many nerve fibers and Pacini and Ruffini corpuscles were found in all specimens. Under this fibrous plane is another fibrous structure, placed transversely between the ulnar-sided hamate and pisiform bones, and the radial-sided scaphoid and trapezium bones. The deeper fibrous structure shows completely different histological characteristics, having parallel, thicker collagen fiber bundles and few nerve fibers. Magnetic resonance images confirm the presence of 2 clearly distinguished fibrous structures in the wrist, the first in continuity with the antebrachial fascia and the second located in a deeper plane between the hamate and scaphoid. CONCLUSIONS: Two different fibrous structures with different histological characteristics are present in the volar wrist: the more superficial one is in continuity with the antebrachial fascia and could be considered its reinforcement; the deeper one is composed of strong lamina, with histological features similar to those of a ligament. For these reasons, we suggest that the term transverse carpal ligament should be used to indicate the fibrous lamina connecting the hamate and pisiform to the scaphoid and trapezium and that the term flexor retinaculum of the wrist should be abandoned because it does not correspond to any specific, autonomous structure.

Comparison of Transverse Carpal Ligament and Flexor Retinaculum Terminology for the Wrist

STECCO, CARLA;MACCHI, VERONICA;TIENGO, CESARE;PORZIONATO, ANDREA;DE CARO, RAFFAELE
2010

Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the macroscopic anatomy and histological characteristics of the transverse carpal ligament and the flexor retinaculum of the wrist and to investigate their anatomical relationships and define appropriate terminology. METHODS: The volar regions of the wrists of 30 unembalmed subjects were examined by dissection and by histological and immunohistochemical staining. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging studies were also carried out on 10 subjects. RESULTS: The dissection study showed that the antebrachial fascia at the volar aspect of the wrist presents a reinforcement. From a histological point of view, it is composed of 3 layers of undulated collagen fiber bundles. Adjacent layers show different orientations of the collagen fibers. Many nerve fibers and Pacini and Ruffini corpuscles were found in all specimens. Under this fibrous plane is another fibrous structure, placed transversely between the ulnar-sided hamate and pisiform bones, and the radial-sided scaphoid and trapezium bones. The deeper fibrous structure shows completely different histological characteristics, having parallel, thicker collagen fiber bundles and few nerve fibers. Magnetic resonance images confirm the presence of 2 clearly distinguished fibrous structures in the wrist, the first in continuity with the antebrachial fascia and the second located in a deeper plane between the hamate and scaphoid. CONCLUSIONS: Two different fibrous structures with different histological characteristics are present in the volar wrist: the more superficial one is in continuity with the antebrachial fascia and could be considered its reinforcement; the deeper one is composed of strong lamina, with histological features similar to those of a ligament. For these reasons, we suggest that the term transverse carpal ligament should be used to indicate the fibrous lamina connecting the hamate and pisiform to the scaphoid and trapezium and that the term flexor retinaculum of the wrist should be abandoned because it does not correspond to any specific, autonomous structure.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2444968
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