The iliolumbar ligament. A study of its anatomy, development and clinical significance

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1986 Mar;68(2):197-200. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.68B2.3958002.


The development of the iliolumbar ligament and its anatomy and histology were studied in cadavers from the newborn to the ninth decade. The structure was entirely muscular in the newborn and became ligamentous only from the second decade, being formed by metaplasia from fibres of the quadratus lumborum muscle. By the third decade, the definitive ligament was well formed; degenerative changes were noted in older specimens. The iliolumbar ligament may have an important role in maintaining lumbosacral stability in patients with lumbar disc degeneration, degenerative spondylolisthesis and pelvic obliquity secondary to neuromuscular scoliosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ligaments / anatomy & histology*
  • Ligaments / growth & development
  • Ligaments / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged