Hand Bones: A Wonder Of Anatomy

The anatomy of hand bones

Hand bones are one of the wonders of anatomy. An excellent arrangement of 27 bones makes the mighty human hand. As a human, we have to do a variety of works to survive in nature. Clearly, without hands, these works are almost impossible.

Classification Of Hand Bones:

Having that much responsibility, human hands offer a vast amount of movement with enough dexterity. Anatomically, the human hand is composed of three types of bones as follows:

  1. Carpals
  2. Metacarpals
  3. Phalanges
The anatomy of hand bones.

Statistical Data For Hand Bones:

If we focus on the count of these bones in a human hand, we have the following data:

Type Of BoneCount
The number game of bones in hand

Anatomy Of The Hand Bones:

The human hand consists of three major types of bones. We will have an in-depth look at each one of these as follows:

1. Carpal Bones(Carpals):

There are 8 carpal bones in the wrist. Carpal bones connect the hand to the forearm. The word ‘Carpals’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Carpus,’ which means wrist.

Mechanically, carpal bones provide our wrist mobility and the freedom of movement. The eight carpal bones get divided into two transverse rows and three columns.

For clinical ease, carpal bones are categorized into three columns:

  1. Radial Scaphoid Column
  2. Lunate Column
  3. Ulnar Triquetral Column

We can tabulate these columns with the individual names of bones included as follows:

ColumnIncluded Bones
Radial Scaphoid Column Trapezium, Trapezoid, Scaphoid
Lunate ColumnCapitate, Lunate
Ulnar Triquetral ColumnTriquetrum, Hemate,Pisiform
Carpal bones in column arrangement

Concerning rows, carpal bones are divided into two categories:

  1. Proximal Row
  2. Distal Row

With individual bone names, we can tabulate these bones as follows:

RowIncluded Bones
ProximalScaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform
DistalTrapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate
The row arrangement of carpal bones.

Except for Pisiform, all the carpals have six surfaces. Palmar and Dorsal surfaces are rough among these six surfaces.

2. Metacarpal Bones(Metacarpals):

Metacarpal bones are like a connecting bridge that connects the wrist and phalanges of the hand. A human hand consists of five metacarpal bones that resemble the metacarpals that we observe in the foot.

Structure Of Metacarpal Bones Of The Hand:

Each metacarpal bone consists of a body and two extremities. These two extremities include a head near phalanges and base near the wrist.

The anatomy of hand bones
The anatomy of metacarpal bones of the hand.

Head :

The head is a convex oblong surface which is connected to the phalanx.


The body of a metacarpal is a prismoidal section with middle and lateral sections concave in nature. The body connects the head and base.


The base is a cuboidal extremity that is connected with the wrist bones of the carpus. For proper attachments of ligaments, the Dorsal and Volar surfaces of the base are rough.

Nomenclature Of Metacarpal Bones Of The Hand:

Every metacarpal bone is associated with a digit tabulated as follows:

Index FingerII
Middle FingerIII
Ring FingerIV
Little FingerV
The nomenclature of metacarpal bones.

The neck is the area of metacarpal between the body and head. Most of the bone injuries for metacarpal bones are noted in this area only.


Phalanges are the bones of extremity for hand. Each finger, except thumb, has three phalanx bones. There are 56 phalanges in a human body with fourteen each in each hand and foot.

Classification Of Phalanges:

Phalanges are primarily classified into three categories, as follows:

  1. Proximal Phalanges
  2. Middle Phalanges
  3. Distal Phalanges

1.Proximal Phalanges:

We find proximal phalanges at the bottom of each finger. These are the closest phalanges to the metacarpals. These include a body and two extremities like metacarpal bones.

For hand, the distal phalanges are flat on their palmar surface.

2.Middle Phalanges:

Middle phalanges are also called as intermediate phalanges. This is because middle phalanges join the proximal and distal phalanges.

The middle phalange has two joints. All fingers except thumb contain middle phalanges. Thumb has only proximal and distal phalanges.

3.Distal Phalanges:

Distal phalanges are the extremities or the tips of fingers. We all have an idea that our fingertips are coated with flesh. This flesh needs strong support to stay in place. Distal phalanges support this flesh to keep it in place. A human hand contains five distal phalanges.

The base of the distal phalanges is connected to the intermediate phalanges. In case of thumb, it is connected o the proximal phalanx.

Distal phalanges are fractured most of the times. A simple reason for this is their exposure. The distal phalanges of the middle finger and thumb are the most normal cases for accidental fractures.

So, in conclusion, we have our hands that are God’s gift to us humans. So take care of your precious hands.

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