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The ligaments of the wrist.

The ligaments of the wrist were studied by dissecting ten fixed and seven fresh frozen wrists. In three other specimens multiple cross-sections were prepared. These studies show that the wrist ligaments can be classified into two groups: extrinsic and intrinsic. In the extrinsic group, the deep volar radiocarpal ligaments are three strong and very important structures connecting the radius to the capitate, the radius to the lunate, and, in a deeper layer, the radius to both the scaphoid and the lunate. A ligamentous deficiency was noted frequently between the capitate and the lunate. There also are very strong volar connections between the radius and the medial or ulnar carpus. These studies suggest that certain patients with a generalized ligamentous laxity and weakness will develop a pathological disruption of the volar ligaments with trauma. These torn volar ligaments should be repaired or reconstructed, for repair of only the dorsal ligaments seldom will provide good stability to such wrists.

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