The seven basic elements of elbow anatomy are the bones, the articular cartilages, the ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.
The elbow joint (Latin: articulatio cubiti) connects the upper arm bone (the humerus) with the two bones of the forearm, the ulna and the radius. The radius is smaller than the ulna and connects to the wrist on the same side as the thumb.
Basic Elbow Anatomy
The elbow is basically a hinge joint, or ginglymus, but it also can twist as the radius turns against the humerus, which occurs with rotation of the hand. The head of the radius is cup-shaped so that it can turn against the capitellum, the ridge that constitutes humerus's contact point with the radius. The trochlea of the humerus is received into the semilunar notch of the ulna. The surfaces where these three bones come into contact are coated with articular cartilage, a smooth substance that allows the bones slide painlessly against each other. Articular cartilage is white, rubbery. shiny smooth.
The bones of the elbow are held together by ligaments. The main ligaments of the elbow (illustrated below) are:
A thin layer of tissue known as the joint capsule fills the spaces between the ligaments and forms a waterproof chamber. This chamber is filled with synovial fluid, a lubricating liquid that eases movement of the joint.
Click on these illustrations to enlarge them:
|The biceps muscle inserts on the radius just distal to the elbow, while the triceps inserts on the anterior surface the ulnar head.|
|Elbow anatomy: Major nerves|
|Elbow anatomy: Arteries|
|Elbow anatomy: Veins|
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