Joints of the wrist and hand


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Joints of the wrist and hand

Upper limb


Bones of the upper limb

Fascia, vessels and nerves of the upper limb

Anatomy of the brachial plexus

Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions

Anatomy of the arm

Muscles of the forearm

Vessels and nerves of the forearm

Muscles of the hand

Anatomy of the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints

Anatomy of the glenohumeral joint

Anatomy of the elbow joint

Anatomy of the radioulnar joints

Joints of the wrist and hand

Anatomy of the axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates

Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder

Anatomy clinical correlates: Axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm

Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand

Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves


Joints of the wrist and hand

Recall questions

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Joints of the Wrist and Hand

Figure 1. Anterior view of the joints of the hand and wrist of the right hand.
Figure 2. A Anterior view and B posterior view of the ligaments of the wrist joint.
Figure 3. Anterior view of the right wrist showing the articular disc.



Evode Iradufasha, MD

Kaylee Neff

Salma Ladhani, MD

Ursula Florjanczyk, MScBMC

The wrist is a complex joint that serves as the bridge connecting the forearm and the hand together.

It consists of a main radiocarpal joint, between the radius and the proximal row of the carpal bones minus the pisiform, and the smaller intercarpal joints, which are small joints among the carpals.

Then we have the hand, which consists of the carpo-metacarpal joints, the intermetacarpal joints, the metacarpophalangeal joints, and the interphalangeal joints.

Try saying those three times fast!!

Ok, let’s start with the wrist joint.

First, there’s the radiocarpal joint which is a condyloid type of synovial joint consisting of the distal radius and scaphoid, the lunate, and the triquetrum carpal bones.

Interestingly enough, the ulna doesn’t participate in the radiocarpal joint.

It is the articulating surface of the distal radius and the articular disc of the distal radio-ulnar joint which articulate with the proximal row of carpal bones to form the radiocarpal joint.

The articulating surfaces of the radiocarpal joint are surrounded by the tough joint capsule and synovial membrane, extending from the distal ends of the radius and ulna, to the scaphoid, the lunate, and the triquetrum.

The joint capsule of the radiocarpal joint is reinforced by a couple of ligaments, both on the dorsal and the palmar sides of the joint.

The palmar ligaments extend from the distal radius to the two rows of the carpal bones.

These ligaments strengthen the joint and make it possible for the hand and the radius to move as one unit during supination of the forearm, or turning the palm upwards.


The wrist is a complex joint that connects the hand to the forearm. It consists of the radiocarpal joint found between the radius and the proximal row of the carpal bones except for the pisiform; and the intercarpal joints, which are small joints among the carpals.

Joints of the hand include carpometacarpal joints found between the carpals and the metacarpals; the intermetacarpal joints among the metacarpals themselves; the metacarpophalangeal joints between the metacarpals and the proximal phalanges; and finally, the interphalangeal joints found between the proximal phalanges and the middle or distal phalanges.


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