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A dissection of 14 preserved and two fresh human hands, a total of 64 fingers, all from different individuals, showed the oblique retinacular ligament to vary in completeness and to be functionally present in only 40 to 50 percent of the specimens, except for the ulnar side of the ring finger where it was present in over 90 percent. When present, it was made taut by flexion of the distal phalanx, regardless of the position of the proximal interphalangeal joint. Excision of the ligament when present, or in its absence in these fingers, did not alter the coordinated motion of the interphalangeal joints produced by traction on the extrinsic flexors and the lateral bands. In absence of the ligament, a constant finding was the presence of a proximally located osteocapsular ligament which became taut on extension of the proximal interphalangeal joint.
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Received in revised form: July 26, 1976
Received: May 3, 1976
© 1977 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.