What is the arcade of Struthers in ulnar anatomy?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Charles F Guardia, III, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Halikis et al [29] divided this region into 2 areas, the arcade of Struthers [30, 31] and the medial intermuscular septum. According to the standard anatomic definition, the arcade of Struthers is a thin fibrous band that usually extends from the medial head of the triceps to the medial intermuscular septum. It is often said to be about 6-10 cm proximal to the medial epicondyle.

Considerable anatomic variation exists, and in fact, there is outright controversy about the arcade of Struthers. [32] One component of the controversy is quite trivial: There is no evidence that Struthers discovered this structure or was even aware of it; his name was attached to it by Kane et al in a 1973 paper. [33]

Siqueira, in an autopsy study of 60 upper limbs, found a structure reasonably approximating the definition given above in 8 limbs (13.5%). [32] Ulnar nerve entrapment occurred in none of them (but there was no clinical reason to expect that it might have).

Bartels et al could not find the arcade of Struthers in their dissections, and they expressed doubts about its existence. [34]

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