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Keywords:

  • Biomechanics;
  • sacroiliac joint;
  • low back pain

The iliolumbar ligament has been described as the most important ligament for restraining movement at the lumbosacral junction. In addition, it may play an important role in restraining movement in the sacroiliac joints. To help understand its presumed restraining effect, the anatomy of the ligament and its orientation with respect to the sacroiliac joints were studied in 17 cadavers. Specific dissection showed the existence of several distinct parts of the iliolumbar ligament, among which is a sacroiliac part. This sacroiliac part originates on the sacrum and blends with the interosseous sacroiliac ligaments. Together with the ventral part of the iliolumbar ligament it inserts on the medial part of the iliac crest, separate from the interosseous sacroiliac ligaments. Its existence is verified by magnetic resonance imaging and by cryosectioning of the pelvis in the coronal and transverse plane. Fibre direction, length, width, thickness and orientation of the sacroiliac part of the iliolumbar ligament are described. It is mainly oriented in the coronal plane, perpendicular to the sacroiliac joint. The existence of this sacroiliac part of the iliolumbar ligament supports the assumption that the iliolumbar ligament has a direct restraining effect on movement in the sacroiliac joints.