Advanced imaging of the scapholunate ligamentous complex
The purpose of our study was to demonstrate and describe the MR and arthro-CT anatomic appearance of the scaphotrapezial ligament and illustrate some of the pathologies involving this structure. This ligament consists of two slips that originate from the radiopalmar aspect of the scaphoid tuberosity and extend distally, forming a V shape. The ulnar fibers, which are just radial to the flexor carpi radialis sheath, inserted along the trapezial ridge. The radial fibers were found to be thinner and inserted at the radial aspect of the trapezium. Twelve fresh cadaver wrists were dissected, with close attention paid to the scaphotrapezio-trapezoidal (STT) joint. An osseoligamentous specimen was dissected with removal of all musculotendinous structures around the STT joint and was performed with high-resolution acquisition in a 128-MDCT scanner. Samples of the wrist area were collected from two fetal specimens. A retrospective study of 55 patients with wrist pain that were submitted to arthrography, arthro-CT, and arthro-MRI imaging was performed (10 patients on a 3-T superconducting magnet and 45 patients on a 1.5-T system). Another ten patients had high-resolution images on a 3-T superconducting magnet without arthrographic injection. MR arthrography and arthro-CT improved visualization and provided detailed information about the anatomy of the scaphotrapezial ligament. Knowledge of the appearance of this normal ligament on MRI allows accurate diagnosis of lesions and will aid when surgery is indicated or may have a role in avoiding unnecessary immobilization.