Author: Jana Vasković MD•Reviewer: Francesca Salvador MScLast reviewed: December 21, 2021Reading time: 7 minutes


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Proximal radioulnar joint (Articulatio radioulnaris proximalis)

The proximal radioulnar joint is a synovial joint that connects the proximal ends of the radius and also ulna.

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In this joint, the circumferent head of radius is inserted within the ring developed by the radial notch of ulna and the annular ligament. This configuration makes this joint a pivot joint.

The proximal radioulnar joint is a uniaxial joint, allowing movements in one degree of freedom; pronation-supination. In people, this movement is distinctive for the top limb.

This write-up will comment on the anatomy and feature of the proximal radioulnar joint.

Key facts about the proximal radioulnar joint
TypeSynovial pivot joint; uniaxial
Articular surfacesHead of radius, radial fossa of ulna
LigamentsAnnular ligament, quadprice ligament
InnervationMedian, musculocutaneous, radial and ulnar nerves
Blood supplyDeep brachial, radial and also widespread interosseous arteries
MovementsPronation - supination

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Articular surfaces


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Radioulnar joints
Articulationes radioulnares
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Synonyms: Radioulnar syndesmoses, Syndesmoses radioulnares

The articular surfaces of the proximal radioulnar joint are the head of radius and the radial fossa of ulna.

Both surencounters are lined through hyaline cartilage. The radial head is circular and also convex, while the radial fossa is reciprocally concave.

However, the radial fossa is in touch through just one-fifth of the radial head. For the sake of completeness of this pivot joint, the annular ligament surrounds the radial head and holds it tight versus the radial fossa of ulna.

Ligaments and also joint capsule

The fibrous capsule of the radioulnar joint attaches to the annular ligament distally, while proximally it is consistent with the capsule of the elbow joint. The synovial membrane attaches to the margins of the articular surencounters and to the annular ligament. It lines the internal surface of the capsule,where it is consistent via the synovial membrane of the elbow joint. Hence, the elbow and also proximal radioulnar joints share one continuous synovial cavity.

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The proximal radioulnar joint is reinrequired by the annular and also quadrate ligaments.