Ultrasound assessment of the lateral collateral ligamentous complex of the elbow: imaging aspects in cadavers and normal volunteers

Teixeira PA, Omoumi P, Trudell DJ, Ward SR, Lecocq S, Blum A, Resnick DL.
Eur Radiol, 2011 21(7):1492-8.


OBJECTIVE: The Lateral Collateral Ligamentous complex (LCL) is an important stabiliser of the elbow. It has a Y-shaped structure with three components. In this study, we sought to describe the ultrasound aspect of the individual components of this ligamentous complex and to evaluate the performance of ultrasound in both cadavers and in normal subjects.
METHODS: Ten cadaveric elbow specimens underwent high-frequency ultrasound. Two specimens were sliced and two were dissected for anatomical correlation. Ten elbows of normal subjects were also evaluated by ultrasound. The findings were compared.
RESULTS: The three components of the LCL could be visualised in all specimens and normal subjects with the exception of the proximal portion of one specimen. In 80% of the specimens and 100% of the healthy volunteers the proximal portion of the LCL could be separated from the extensor tendons.
CONCLUSION: High-resolution ultrasound can assess all components of the LCL of the elbow and can distinguish them from surrounding structures.

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