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olecranon bursitis, olecranon
The olecranon /oʊˈlɛkrənɒn/ from the Greek olene meaning elbow and kranon meaning head1 is the large, thick, curved bony eminence of the ulna, a long bone in the forearm that projects behind the elbow It forms the most pointed portion of the elbow and is opposite to the cubital fossa or elbow pit The olecranon serves as a lever for the extensor muscles that straighten the elbow joint


  • 1 Structure
  • 2 Clinical significance
  • 3 Additional images
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


It is situated at the upper proximal end of the ulna, one of the two bones in the forearm When the hand faces forward supination the olecranon faces towards the back posteriorly

It is bent forward at the summit so as to present a prominent lip which is received into the olecranon fossa of the humerus in extension of the forearm

Its base is contracted where it joins the body and the narrowest part of the upper end of the ulna

Its posterior surface, directed backward, is triangular, smooth, subcutaneous, and covered by a bursa

Its superior surface is of quadrilateral form, marked behind by a rough impression for the insertion of the Triceps brachii; and in front, near the margin, by a slight transverse groove for the attachment of part of the posterior ligament of the elbow-joint

Its anterior surface is smooth, concave, and forms the upper part of the semilunar notch

Its borders present continuations of the groove on the margin of the superior surface; they serve for the attachment of ligaments, viz, the back part of the ulnar collateral ligament medially, and the posterior ligament laterally

From the medial border a part of the flexor carpi ulnaris arises; while to the lateral border the anconeus muscle is attached

Clinical significanceedit

Fractures of the olecranon are common injuries An olecranon fracture with anterior displacement of the radial head is called a Hume fracture

Additional imagesedit


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy 1918

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see Anatomical terminology
  1. ^ ODE 2nd edition 2005

External linksedit

  • radiographsul at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman Georgetown University xrayelbow
  • "Anatomy diagram: 02240008-1" Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator Elsevier Archived from the original on 2014-01-01 

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