Suspensory ligament of the eye (Lockwood’s ligament)
First described by surgeon Charles Barrett Lockwood, the suspensory ligament of the eye forms a support hammock below the globe extending from the lateral orbital tubercle to the medial canthal tendon. It is formed by the fusion of the capsulopalpebral fascia just anterior to the inferior oblique. The caspulopalpebral fascia is a lower eyelid retractor which extends anteriorly from the inferior rectus, splitting around the inferior oblique to fuse with the orbital septum and insert on the inferior border of the inferior tarsal plate.
Lockwood’s ligament supports the position of the globe in its position within the orbit, preventing any displacement. The globe is also supported by the medial and lateral check ligaments, septum, and adipose tissue.The course of the ligament determines the shape of the lower conjunctival fornix.
Weakening and descent of Lockwood ligament may cause the globe to descend, reducing the space between the globe and the floor of the orbit.
Kakizaki et al in 2004 described 3 components of Lockwood’s ligament: the main Lockwood ligament, the arcuate expansion, and the inferior ligament.
The main Lockwood ligament inserts onto Whitnall tubercle on the lateral orbital wall. The analog of the main Lockwood ligament in the upper eyelid is Whitnall's ligament. The arcuate expansion of Lockwood ligament typically defines the boundaries of the middle and lateral fat pads of the lower lid and inserts on the inferolateral orbital rim.
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