The effect of division of the transverse carpal ligament on flexor tendon excursion

D. Netscher, M. Lee, J. Thornby, C. Polsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The effect of the transverse carpal ligament (TCL) as a pulley was evaluated by measuring flexor tendon excursion after ligament division and by changing wrist position through a range of flexion and extension. Eight fresh cadaver upper extremities were mounted in a device and tendon excursions from full extension to fingertip-palm contact were measured for each flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tendon. Measurements were performed with the wrist at 30°extension, neutral, 30°flexion, and 60°flexion. The TCL was then sectioned, the skin was sutured, and the measurements were repeated. Two forms of carpal ligament repair were then done-transposition flap and aponeurotic repairs-and measurements were again repeated. With increasing wrist flexion, greater excursion differences were noted. Analysis of variance revealed that for both FDS and FDP, a significant difference in excursion occurred at 60°wrist flexion and 30°wrist extension with no ligament reconstruction or aponeurotic repair, compared to values prior to carpal tunnel release (p < .05) and to transposition ligament repair (p < .05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1024
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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