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A retinaculum refers to any region on the body in which tendon groups from different muscles pass under one connective tissue band. Wrist retinacula include the flexor and the extensor retinacula of the hand. Ankle retinacula include the peroneal retinacula and the flexor, superior extensor, and inferior extensor retinacula of the foot.

If a retinaculum is injured, it may lead to an impairment of tendon functionality. If the peroneal retinaculum tears or stretches, it may cause the peroneal tendons to detach from the fibula. This may cause damage to the tendons and impair their functionality, leading to a condition known as peroneal tendon dysfunction.

During or following arthroscopic knee surgery, the quadriceps tendon may rupture due to the release of the lateral retinaculum. This complication is relatively rare and may manifest up to five weeks after the injury. To reduce the complications from retinaculum surgery, a procedure was developed that incorporates medial patellofemoral ligament overlap in addition to lateral retinaculum release.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Retinaculum

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