Extensor Retinaculum (Wrist)

Original Editor - Sameera Withanage

Top Contributors -

Description[edit | edit source]

Extensor Retinaculum of the wrist
Extensor Retinaculum of the wrist

Extensor Retinaculum is a fibrous, thickened band that holds the extensor tendons at the dorsum of the wrist. It is an oblique band runs downwards and medially preventing bowstringing.[1][2][3]

Attachments[edit | edit source]


  1. Lower part of the anterior border of the radius.[2]


  1. Styloid process of the ulna.[2]
  2. Triquetral.[2]
  3. Pisiform.[2]


Function[edit | edit source]

Extensor Retinaculum helps to keep the extensor tendons in alignment and prevent bowstringing during movements.[1]

Clinical relevance[edit | edit source]

By extending fascial attachments to the underlying bones and periosteum, the retinaculum forms six osseofascial compartments over the dorsal wrist. There are several structures passing through each compartment from lateral to the medial side and each compartment is lined by a synovial sheath.[2][5]

Structures passing through Extensor retinaculum
Compartment Structure
  • Extensor digiti minimi

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Robertson BL, Jamadar DA, Jacobson JA, Kalume-Brigido M, Caoili EM, Margaliot Z, De Maeseneer MO. Extensor retinaculum of the wrist: sonographic characterization and pseudotenosynovitis appearance. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2007 Jan;188(1):198-202.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Chaurasia BD. BD Chaurasia's Human Anatomy. CBS Publishers & Distributors PVt Ltd.; 2010.
  3. Taleisnik J, Gelberman RH, Miller BW, Szabo RM. The extensor retinaculum of the wrist. Journal of Hand Surgery. 1984 Jul 1;9(4):495-501.
  4. Extensor retinaculum of wrist. Available from:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM6rmLBhrwc&ab_channel=AW2N
  5. Standring S, editor. Gray's anatomy e-book: the anatomical basis of clinical practice. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2015 Aug 7.