Bones of the hand #2: Metacarpal bones and phalanges

Bones of the hand #2: Metacarpal bones and phalangesKey facts about the anatomy of the metacarpal bones and phalanges
~ 3 min

The bones of the hand (ossa manus) include the carpal bones (ossa carpi), the metacarpals (ossa metacarpi), and the phalanges (phalanges/ossa digitorum).

Bones of the hand (ossa manus)
Bones of the hand (ossa manus)
Metacarpals (ossa metacarpi)
Metacarpals (ossa metacarpi)

The metacarpus consists of five small tubular bones. Each metacarpal bone has three parts:

  • Base (basis ossis metacarpi)

    Base (basis ossis metacarpi)
    Base (basis ossis metacarpi)
  • Body (corpus ossis metacarpi)

    Body (corpus ossis metacarpi)
    Body (corpus ossis metacarpi)
  • Head (caput ossis metacarpi)

    Head (caput ossis metacarpi)
    Head (caput ossis metacarpi)

    The base has an articular surface for articulation with the carpal bones, and the head has an articular surface for articulation with the proximal phalanges. Furthermore, the bases of the II-V bones also contain lateral articular surfaces that are used for articulating with each other.

    The first metacarpal is slightly different from the others; it is thicker and shorter. It has an articular surface at its base to connect with the trapezium.

    At the base of the third metacarpal lies a small styloid process (processus styloideus).

    Styloid process (processus styloideus)
    Styloid process (processus styloideus)

    The spaces between the metacarpals are called interosseous metacarpal spaces (spatia interossea metacarpi).

    Interosseous metacarpal spaces (spatia interossea metacarpi)
    Interosseous metacarpal spaces (spatia interossea metacarpi)

    Now, we examine the phalanges (phalanges/ossa digitorum). The anatomical names of the phalanges are as follows:

  • I – thumb (pollex)

  • II – index finger (index)

  • III – middle finger (digitus medius)

  • IV – ring finger (digitus anularis)

  • V – little finger (digitus minimus)

    Phalanges (phalanges/ossa digitorum)
    Phalanges (phalanges/ossa digitorum)

    All fingers except the thumb have three phalanges:

  • Proximal phalanx (phalanx proximalis)

    Proximal phalanx (phalanx proximalis)
    Proximal phalanx (phalanx proximalis)
  • Middle phalanx (phalanx media)

    Middle phalanx (phalanx media)
    Middle phalanx (phalanx media)
  • Distal phalanx (phalanx distalis)

    Distal phalanx (phalanx distalis)
    Distal phalanx (phalanx distalis)

    The thumb has no middle phalanx.

    Phalanges have three parts, just like metacarpals:

  • Base (basis phalangis)

    Base (basis phalangis)
    Base (basis phalangis)
  • Body (corpus phalangis)

    Body (corpus phalangis)
    Body (corpus phalangis)
  • Head (caput phalangis)

Head (caput phalangis)
Head (caput phalangis)

The bases and heads of the phalanges have articular surfaces for articulation with other bones (depending on the phalanx—either metacarpals or another phalanx). The end sections of the distal phalanges are slightly flattened and contain a tuberosity of the distal phalanx (tuberositas phalangis distalis).

Tuberosity of the distal phalanx (tuberositas phalangis distalis)
Tuberosity of the distal phalanx (tuberositas phalangis distalis)
Dictionary

Metacarpal bones and phalanges

bones of hand
ossa manus
carpal bones
ossa carpi
metacarpals
ossa metacarpi
phalanges
ossa digitorum / phalanges
metacarpal base
basis ossis metacarpi
body of metacarpals
corpus ossis metacarpi
head of metacarpals
caput ossis metacarpi
styloid process
processus styloideus
interosseous metacarpal spaces
spatia interossea metacarpi
thumb
pollex
index finger
index
middle finger
digitus medius
ring finger
digitus anularis
little finger
digitus minimus
proximal phalanx
phalanx proximalis
middle phalanx
phalanx media
distal phalanx
phalanx distalis
base of phalanx
basis phalangis
body of phalanx
corpus phalangis
head of phalanx
caput phalangis
tuberosity of distal phalanx
tuberositas phalangis distalis
Main screen of the Easy Anatomy 3D app

Download Easy Anatomy 3D and try it for free

  • 3D Atlas *
  • Interactive notes
  • Videos on Anatomy
  • Anatomy flashcards
* only for iOS version

Easy Anatomy

Learn anatomy effectively

3.2K

Функция доступна в приложении

Download the app