The upper limb

The upper limb consists of the following bones:

humerus

Long bone forming the upper arm

radius

Long bone of the forearm (thumb side)

ulna

Long bone of the forearm (little finger side)

carpals

8 bones forming the wrist

metacarpals

5 long bones forming the palm of the hand

phalanges

14 bones forming the fingers and thumb

Humerus

The humerus is the long bone of the upper arm. The head of the humerus articulates with the scapula, forming the shoulder joint. The distal end of the bone articulates with the radius and ulna to form the elbow joint.

Radius and ulna

The ulna and radius are the long bones of the forearm. The two bones are bound together by a fibrous ring which allows a rotating movement in which the bones pass over each other. The ulna is the bone of the little finger side and is the longer of the two forearm bones. The radius is situated on the

Humerus

Ulna

Lunate -Triquetral -Hamate Pisiform -

Carpals

Metacarpals

Phalanges

Radius -Scaphoid Capitate Trapezoid Trapezium

Ulna

Lunate -Triquetral -Hamate Pisiform -

Carpals

Metacarpals

Phalanges

Fig 3.8 Bones of the upper limb

Femur

Patella

Tarsals Metatarsals Phalanges

Femur

Patella

Tarsals Metatarsals Phalanges

thumb side of the forearm and is shorter than the ulna. The joint between the ulna and the radius permits a movement called pronation. This is when the radius moves obliquely across the ulna so that the thumb side of the hand is closest to the body. The movement called supination takes the thumb side of the hand to the lateral side. The radius and the ulna articulate with the humerus at the elbow and the carpal bones at the wrist.

Carpals

The wrist consists of eight small bones of irregular size which are collectively called carpals. They fit closely together and are held in place by ligaments. The carpals are arranged in two groups of four. Those of the upper row articulate with the ulna and the radius and the lower row articulates with the metacarpals. The upper row nearest the forearm is called scaphoid, lunate, triquetral and pisiform. The lower row is called the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate.

Metacarpals

There are five long metacarpal bones in the palm of the hand. Their proximal ends articulate with the wrist bones and the distal ends articulate with the finger bones.

Phalanges

There are 14 phalanges. These are the finger bones, two are in the thumb or pollex and three are in each of the other digits.

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