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In 1849, the first Regius Professor of Anatomy at the University of Abderdeen described the ‘supracondylar process’. He lent his name to the ligament, which usually runs from this process to a nearby ossal structure. It is not a constant ligament and can be acquired or congenital. Its clinical significance lies in the fact that a nerve passes in the space between the ligament and the underlying bone. It is very well possible that Popeye in fact has a supracondylar process instead of a huge biceps brachii muscle! Do you know which ligament is meant above, and which structure passes underneath it? Do you know a possible cause for the development of this ligament?
See the answer of this question below the image!
The ligament is called ‘Struthers’ Ligament’. The median nerve is passing between this ligament and the humerus shaft, in the supracondylar space. In this space the nerve may be compressed, leading to a supracondylar syndrome.
The supracondylar bony spur occurs in 0,7% to 2,7% of the population, usually as an incidental radiological finding. Only a small percentage of people actually develops symptoms. It is even more uncommon to have compression on the median nerve by Struthers’ ligament in the absence of a bony spur.
Absence of a bony spur by palpation or on radiographs does not completely rule out the possibility of median nerve compression by Struthers’ ligament. Therefore, always be aware of a bony spur with Struthers’ ligament in unknown causes of sensations in the median nerve area.