Surface Projection of the Iliolumbar Ligament




Salem, Yasser
Gorski, Richard
Demissie, Elias
Liu, Howe


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Surface Projection of the Iliolumbar Ligament Purpose: The iliolumbar ligament (ILL) is often a weak structure when one makes a sudden trunk side-bend or twisting motion, but its surface projection has not been reported before. The purpose of this study was to measure the ILL in relation to thumb inter-phalangeal joint (IPJ) width, since the IPJ is one of the most conveniently used measurement in rehab settings. Methods: Ten specimens from 5 previously dissected adult cadavers were utilized for parameters assessment. Forty physical therapy students were recruited for calculation of the average IPJ width. Data was collected with the Vernier caliper and then converted to the IPJ width. Results: The average IPJ width from students was 2.01cm. The ILL attaches on the posterior tip of the L5 transverse process and travels horizontally and a little posteriorly to attach on the iliac tubercle or posteromedial 1/3 of the iliac crest. The ligament is a band-like shape with about ½ IPJ in width and about 1 ¼ IPJ in length in a horizontal way, and its distal attachment is about 2 ¼ IPJ from the L5 spinous process. There were no bilateral difference of these assessed measurements. Conclusion: Results from this study would help rehab clinicians locate where the ligament is in terms of surface projection and further assist in the application of physical modalities like ultrasonic or electric stimulation treatment or even hands-on manipulation in a more concise and efficient way. Key words: iliolumbar ligament, cadaver, manipulation.