Gross anatomy of the elbow capsule: A cadaveric study

Lee M. Reichel, Omar A. Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: The elbow is an inherently stable joint because of its bony articulation and surrounding capsuloligamentous structures. Anatomic and biomechanical studies have focused on the medial and lateral collateral ligamentous contributions to stability. In 1918, Gray provided a qualitative description of the elbow capsule and its fibers. Our study was performed to detail the gross anatomy of the elbow capsule. Methods: We evaluated the elbow capsule of 6 paired, fresh-frozen cadaveric specimens to detail gross capsular anatomy. Results: We identified 3 distinct bands within the anterior capsule and 3 distinct bands within the posterior capsule. Conclusions: Further study is needed to delineate the functional meaning of these anatomic findings. Clinical relevance: Greater understanding of elbow capsule gross anatomy may lead to improved understanding of acute and chronic elbow pathoanatomy and treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-116
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Anterior elbow capsule
  • elbow anatomy
  • elbow capsule
  • elbow stability
  • posterior elbow capsule


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