Skip to main content

Ligamentary structure of the base of the nail

Structure ligamentaire de la base de l'ongle

Summary

The authors report the results of 115 dissections of the base of the distal phalanx of fingers and toes. In 85% of cases including hypoplastic supernumerary digits, there is a connective ligament-like structure. It is a dorsal expansion of the lateral ligament of the distal inter-phalangeal joint arising from the intermediate phalanx and ending in the matrix and the lunula. This ligament may have a role in biomechanical strains on the nail. It can explain some dystrophic nails associated with some malpositioned joints in fingers or toes.

Résumé

Les auteurs rapportent les résultats de 115 dissections portant sur la base de la phalange distale des doigts ou des orteils. Ils retrouvent dans 85 % des cas, y compris sur des doigts hypoplasiques surnuméraires, une formation conjonctive de type ligamentaire. Il s'agit d'une expansion dorsale du ligament latéral de l'articulation interphalangienne distale, naissant de l'extrémité distale de la phalange intermédiaire et se terminant au sein de la matrice et sur la lunule. Ce ligament “ostéomatriciel” peut jouer un rôle dans la transmission des contraintes biomécaniques sur l'ongle et expliquer les dystrophies unguéales stéréotypées associées à certaines malpositions articulaires des doigts ou des orteils.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Achten G (1988) L'ongle normal. J Med Esth Chir Derm 15: 193–200

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Baran R (1978) L'ongle. In: Monographie du GEM, no. 9. Expansion Scientifique Française, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Baran R (1990) Nail biting and picking as a possible cause of longitudinal melanonychia. Dermatologica 181: 126–128.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Baran R, Bureau H (1983) Congenital malalignment of the big toenail as a cause of ingrowing toe-nail in infancy. Pathology and treatment (a study of thirty cases). Clin Exp Dermatol 4: 309–313

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Baran R, Dawber RPR (1984) Diseases of the nails. Blackwell, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Cleland J (1878) The cutaneous ligaments of the phalanges. J Anat Physiol 12: 526–527

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    David R, Renard M (1985) L'ongle du gros orteil et ses moyens de fixation. Bull Soc Anat Paris 10: 77–81

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Johnson M, Comaish JS, Shuster S (1991) Nail is produced by the normal nail bed: a controversy resolved. Br J Dermatol 125: 27–29

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kuhlmann JN, Boabighi A, Guéro S et al (1988) Boutonniere deformity in Dupuytren's disease. J Hand Surg [Br] 13: 379–382

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Lewis BL (1954) Microscopic studies of fetal and mature nail surrounding soft tissue. Arch Dermatol 70: 732–747

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Shepard GH (1983) Treatment of nail bed avulsions with split thickness nail bed grafts. J Hand Surg [Am] 8: 45–54

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Zaias N (1980) The Nail. Spectrum, Jamaica New York

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Zook EG, Van Beek AL, Russell RC et al (1980) Anatomy and physiology of the perionychium: A review of the literature and anatomic study. J Hand Surg [Am] 5: 528–536

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Zook EG (1981) The perionychium. Anatomy, physiology and care of injuries. Clin Plast Surg 8: 21–31

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Zook EG, Guy RJ, Russel RC (1984) A study of nail bed injuries. Causes, treatment and prognosis. J Hand Surg [Am] 9: 247–252

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Zook EG (1990) The Perionychium. Hand Clin 6: 1

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S Guéro.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Guéro, S., Guichard, S. & Fraitag, S. Ligamentary structure of the base of the nail. Surg Radiol Anat 16, 47–52 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01627920

Download citation

Key words

  • Anatomy
  • Nail
  • Ligament
  • Nail Dystrophy
  • Nail Matrix
  • Perionychium