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Bones of the hand

Other Terms: Fingers, Hand, Wrist, Bones of hand, Set of bones of hand, Hand skeleton, Ossa manus, Os de la main




The proximal end of the hand is the carpus or wrist. The carpal bones are eight in number and are arranged in two rows of four. Distal to the carpus are the five digital rays. Each digit, called a finger of which there are four, consists of a metatarsal bone and three phalanges. The first digit, the thumb or pollex, has a metatarsal bone and only two phalanges.


Hand is an Anglo-Saxon word that appears to be closely related to the Latin prehendere meaning to lay hold of or to seize. The Latin equivalent for this word is manus.


The hand exhibits a variety of joints, from the plane joints between the carpal bones, to the sellar joint at the base of the thumb, to the ellipsoid metacarpophalangeal joints, to the hinge joints between the phalanges.


All the bones of the hand ossify endochonrally. During this endochondral ossification the long bones of the hand develop synchondrotic joints called epiphyseal growth plates. These cartilage plates form the growth centers during the early years (up to age 25) of postnatal life. Some general rules for ossification patterns in these bones are: 1) primary ossification centers appear during the end of the embryonic period; 2) secondary ossification centers appear near the time of birth; 3) secondary centers typically appear earlier in females; 4) secondary centers that appear early will usually fuse later.


Ossa manus


Os de la main


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