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Palmar Carpal Ligament
Connective Tissue

Palmar Carpal Ligament

Ligamentum palmare carpi

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Anatomical Relations

The palmar ligament is located distally in the forearm. It is situated superficial to the tendon of palmaris longus and the flexor retinaculum. Laterally, it is attached to the anterior border of the radius and medially to the triquetrum and pisiform bones.

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The palmar carpal ligament is a thickening of the antebrachial fascia on the anterior aspect of the wrist. Posteriorly, the antebrachial fascia is thickened distally as the extensor retinaculum of the wrist. The palmar carpal ligament forms the roof of a small fibro-osseous tunnel called the ulnar (or Guyon’s) canal, along with the palmaris brevis muscle. The floor is formed by the transverse carpal, pisohamate, and pisometacarpal ligaments and the flexor digiti minimi muscle (Standring, 2016). The ulnar nerve and artery travels through this canal to reach the hand.


The palmar carpal ligament functions to hold the tendons in place and prevent bowstringing of the tendons across the wrist joint.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Ulnar nerve entrapment

—Ulnar canal syndrome


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edition: Elsevier Limited.

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Palmar Carpal Ligament

ScienceDirect image

The palmar carpal ligament, the Palmaris brevis muscle fibers, and the hypothenar fat and fibrous tissue is incised and retracted to expose the nerve fully along the course of Guyon’s canal (Fig. 200-14).

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