Deep Ligaments of the Interphalangeal Joint of the Thumb

  • Ulrich Frank
  • Hans-Martin Schmidt
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 256)


Descriptions of ligamentous structures of the fingers go back to the 18th and 19th century.1,11,31,32 At that time, the interest was focused on the collateral ligament and accessory collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the fingers. Improved surgical procedures required a more detailed anatomical investigation. Landsmeer15 drew attention to the retaining ligaments of the extensor mechanism which he called “retinacular ligaments” with “transverse” and “oblique” components. Further publications10,18,28,30 confirmed Landsmeer’s findings although Kaplan13 pointed out that Weitbrecht had mentioned the same structure over 200 years before. In addition, in the 1950s two ligaments were described which did not appear to be in contact with capsular ligaments nor with the extensor or flexor tendon: Moerike20 reported on a nail-halter which was fixed to the distal phalanx; one year later, Flint7 referred to a ligament he called “interosseous ligament” which is attached to the palmar aspect of the tuberosity of the distal phalanx. All these ligamentous structures may be summarized as deep ligaments of the fingers in contrast to the superficially located retaining skin ligaments mentioned by Cleland4 and Grayson.9 In the past 30 years, the deep ligaments of the fingers have been described in a number of comprehensive papers and monographs. However, little reference is made in these works to the ligamentous structures found at the interphalangeal joint of the thumb.


Flexor Tendon Interphalangeal Joint Extensor Tendon Metacarpophalangeal Joint Distal Phalanx 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Frank
    • 1
  • Hans-Martin Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of BonnBonn 1Germany

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