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Hand & Wrist
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Hand & Wrist

The hand and wrist consists of 27 bones divided into three groups:

  • Carpals – eight bones in roughly two rows that form the wrist
  • Metacarpals – five bones, one of which forms the thumb and the other four the palm of the handHand-Healthy_v1_20141126
  • Phalanges – fourteen bones in the digits

Each finger is made up of three phalanges – proximal, middle, and distal – while the thumb consists of just two phalanges. The digits are given names – thumb, index, long, ring, and small – rather than numbers to avoid confusion. The hands have two groups of muscles known as the intrinsic (the main muscle body is inside the hand) and extrinsic (the main muscle body is in the forearm) muscles.

The wrist is the most complex joint of the body. At the end closest to the body (proximal), one row of bones – the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, and pisiform – connects to the ulnar and radius of the lower arm. The row of bones further away from the body (distal) – the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate – connects the metacarpals of the hand. The large number of bones and their complex connections allow the wrist to be extremely flexible.

Figures

Healthy Hand

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