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Wrist Joint Anatomy

Overview

The wrist is a complex joint that bridges the hand to the forearm. It is actually a collection of multiple bones and joints. The bones comprising the wrist include the distal ends of the radius and ulna, 8 carpal bones, and the proximal portions of the 5 metacarpal bones (see the images below).

Bones of the wrist, palmar view.

Bones of the wrist, palmar view.

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Bones of the wrist, enlarged view.

Bones of the wrist, enlarged view.

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All of these bones participate in complex articulations that allow variable mobility of the hand. Relative to the forearm, the hand is capable of 3 degrees of freedom: (1) flexing and extending, (2) pronating and supinating, and (3) deviating ulnarly or radially.
In order to maintain mobility without sacrificing stability, the wrist joint has a complex configuration of ligaments, as shown in the following images.

Ligaments of the wrist, palmar view.

Ligaments of the wrist, palmar view.

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Ligaments of the wrist, posterior (dorsal) view.

Ligaments of the wrist, posterior (dorsal) view.

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