Anatomy and Biomechanics of the Elbow

  • Andrea Celli


The elbow is a complex structure that provides an important function as the mechanical link in the upper extremity between the hand, the wrist, and the shoulder. Its primary functions are to position the hand in the space; loss of this ability can cause significant disability for the activities of daily living. The elbow and the wrist joints associated with the ulna and radius bones linked with the interosseous membrane constitute the anatomical and functional unit of the forearm. This unit provides the rotational movements of the forearm and allows the forces transmission from the hand to the elbow when the elbow joint is the stable fulcrum needed for powerful grasping and fine motions. The elbow joint consists of three separate articulations: the ulnohumeral, radio-capitellar, and proximal radio-ulnar joints, together inside a small capsule with a volume of 15–20 cc. The soft tissue are divided into passive stabilizers (the lateral collateral ligament, the medial collateral ligament, and the capsula) and into active stabilizers as the muscle that provides joint compressive forces and functions.


Radial Head Medial Collateral Ligament Radial Nerve Elbow Joint Lateral Collateral Ligament 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Celli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic and Traumatology SurgeryUniversity of ModenaModenaItaly

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