Articulatio radioulnaris distalis

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The articulatio radioulnaris distalis (" distal radial ulnar joint", distal radioulnar joint ; abbreviation DRUG ) is a joint of the upper extremity, in which the distal ends of the radius ( epiphysis distalis radii ) and ulna ( elbow head, caput ulnae ) are connected . The distal radioulnar joint is a wheel joint with only one axis of movement. The radius rotates around the ulna - with the involvement of the radioulnar joint close to the body - and thereby enables the hand to be turned around ( pronation and supination ).

The joint surface of the head of the elbow is called the circumferentia articularis , that of the lower end of the spoke is called the ulnar incisura . Immediately distal to the joint, the joint disc is attached to the ulna between the ulna and the triangular bone , which completely separates the distal radioulnar joint from the upper wrist . The stability of the joint is primarily ensured by a fibrous cartilaginous inter- joint disc , which is known as the " Triangular Fibro-Cartilaginous Complex " (TFCC).


The joint is of great importance for free wrist mobility, for free pronation and supination and for good stability. In particular, if the ulna is too long , which is often congenital or the result of a shortened radius fracture , damage to the cartilage complex and osteoarthritis of the distal radioulnar joint can occur.

Therapeutically, a partial or complete resection of the end of the elbow or a fusion of the distal end with the radius after resection of a proximal part of the diaphyseal can take place. There are also hemi- endoprostheses in which only the ulnar part is replaced by a prosthesis and the ligamentous apparatus is reconstructed. In addition, there are coupled total endoprostheses, such as the Scheker prosthesis, which are particularly useful for instability that cannot be treated otherwise.


  • Ibrahim A. Kapandji: Functional Anatomy of the Joints: Schematically and annotated drawings on human biomechanics. 4th edition. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-13-142214-9 , pp. 110–117.

Individual evidence

  1. Ilse Degreef, Luc De Smet: The Scheker distal radiulnar Joint arthroplasty to unravel a virtually unsolvable problem . In: Acta Orthopædica Belgica. 2013, Volume 79, pp. 141-145.