Hand Anatomy

Hand - Sports Injury Info
Understanding wrist and hand anatomy can be very helpful in preventing and treating sports injuries of the wrist and hand. While wrist and hand injuries are not terribly common, they do occur.

They are seen most with sports that utilize the upper extremity, such as basketball, baseball, and softball. They are also common in contact sports such as football and rugby.

Wrist and Hand Bones

Wrist Bones
Wrist and hand anatomy begins with the bones. The wrist is made up of 8 bones, called the carpals. These bones are arranged in two rows, and are connected with ligaments. The carpal bones articulate (touch) with each other, and help to allow for movements of the wrist.

The hand is made up of two different sets of bones. The metacarpals and the phalanges. The metacarpals make up the hand, while the phalanges are your fingers and thumb.

The radius and ulna are the two bones that extend from the elbow into the wrist. The radius is on the thumb side, while the ulna is on the little finger side of the arm.

Wrist and Hand Ligaments

Another important part of hand and wrist anatomy is the ligaments. There are numerous ligaments throughout the wrist and hand. Each of the carpal bones is connected to its neighbor with a ligament.

There are also ligaments along both sides of each of the fingers at all of the knuckles. In addition to the ligaments in the fingers, each finger joint has a joint capsule that encompasses the articulation between the phalanges.

Both the ligaments and the joint capsules can be injured, and you may hear this referred to as a "jammed finger".

Wrist and Hand Muscles

Hand Muscles - Extensors
Last in hand and wrist anatomy are the muscles. There are many muscles that surround the wrist and hand and allow for all of the intricate movements that occur at the fingers.

Some of the muscles that produce wrist flexion and extension start just below the elbow and attatch on the carpal bones.

Many other muscles are small, surrounding the fingers and palm, and help with bending and straightening your fingers and thumb. Because there are so many muscles, we will not name all of them.

Hand Muscles - Flexors

All of the muscles, bones, and ligaments work together to keep your hands working just right.

With an understanding of wrist and hand anatomy, you can help prevent and treat your sports injuries.

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