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Radius and ulna

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will learn how to:

  1. Name the major bony landmarks of the radius and ulna.
  2. List the main ligaments that connect the radius with the ulna.

Watch video

The radius and ulna are the two bones of the forearm. They articulate with the humerus at the elbow, and with the carpal bones at the wrist. In the anatomical position, the radius sits on the lateral aspect of the forearm, while the ulna is found medially.

The radius and ulna articulate with each other at the proximal and distal radioulnar joints, while their bodies are connected by an interosseous membrane. These two joints allow the radius to move around the ulna, giving us the familiar palm facing up (supinated) or palm facing down (pronated) positions of the forearm.

Watch the following video and browse the atlas below to learn about the main features of these two bones.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched our video on the radius and ulna check your knowledge by taking the following quiz.

Challenge yourself further, customize your own quiz on the elbow and forearm structures.

Download the following PDF and learn the anatomical landmarks of the radius and ulna.


Browse atlas


Key points about the radius and ulna
Bony landmarks of radius Head, neck, articular circumference of head, articular facet of head, body, anterior border, posterior border, interosseous border, radial tuberosity, pronator tuberosity, suprastyloid crest, styloid process, dorsal radial tubercle, carpal articular surface
Bony landmarks of ulna Olecranon, trochlear notch, coronoid process, tuberosity of ulna,
radial notch, sublime tubercle, body, anterior border, posterior border, interosseous border, head
Ligaments Interosseous membrane of forearm
Oblique cord
Annular ligament of radius
Radial collateral ligament of elbow joint
Ulnar collateral ligament of elbow
Dorsal radioulnar ligament
Palmar radioulnar ligament

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