Metacarpus: Wikis

  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bone: Metacarpals
Metacarpals numbered-en.svg
The five metacarpal bones, numbered. (Left hand shown with thumb on right.)
Metacarpal fractures.jpg
Multiple fractures of the metacarpals (aka broken hand). (Right hand shown with thumb on left.)

In human anatomy, the metacarpus is the intermediate part of the hand skeleton that is located between the phalanges (bones of the fingers) distally and the carpus which forms the connection to the forearm. The metacarpus consists of metacarpal bones. Its equivalent in the foot is the metatarsus.

Contents

Human anatomy

The metacarpals form a transverse arch to which the rigid row of distal carpal bones are fixed. The peripheral metacarpals (those of the thumb and little finger) form the sides of the cup of the palmar gutter and as they are brought together they deepen this concavity. The index metacarpal is the most firmly fixed, while the thumb metacarpal articulates with the trapezium and acts independently from the others. The middle metacarpals are tightly united to the carpus by intrinsic interlocking bone elements at their bases. The ring metacarpal forms a transitional element of the semi-independent last metacarpal. [1]

Each consists of a body and two extremities.

Body

The body (corpus; shaft) is prismoid in form, and curved, so as to be convex in the longitudinal direction behind, concave in front.

It presents three surfaces: medial, lateral, and dorsal.

  • The medial and lateral surfaces are concave, for the attachment of the interosseus muscles, and separated from one another by a prominent anterior ridge.
  • The dorsal surface presents in its distal two-thirds a smooth, triangular, flattened area which is covered in by the tendons of the Extensor muscles. This surface is bounded by two lines, which commence in small tubercles situated on either side of the digital extremity, and, passing upward, converge and meet some distance above the center of the bone and form a ridge which runs along the rest of the dorsal surface to the carpal extremity. This ridge separates two sloping surfaces for the attachment of the Interossei dorsales.

To the tubercles on the digital extremities are attached the collateral ligaments of the metacarpophalangeal joints.

Base

The base or carpal extremity (basis) is of a cuboidal form, and broader behind than in front: it articulates with the carpus, and with the adjoining metacarpal bones; its dorsal and volar surfaces are rough, for the attachment of ligaments.

Head

The head or digital extremity (capitulum) presents an oblong surface markedly convex from before backward, less so transversely, and flattened from side to side; it articulates with the proximal phalanx.

It is broader, and extends farther upward, on the volar than on the dorsal aspect, and is longer in the antero-posterior than in the transverse diameter.

On either side of the head is a tubercle for the attachment of the collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joint.

The dorsal surface, broad and flat, supports the tendons of the extensor muscles; the volar surface is grooved in the middle line for the passage of the Flexor tendons, and marked on either side by an articular eminence continuous with the terminal articular surface.

Articulations

Besides their phalangeal articulations, the metacarpal bones articulate as follows:

  • the first with the trapezium;
  • the second with the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and third metacarpal;
  • the third with the capitate and second and fourth metacarpals;
  • the fourth with the capitate, hamate, and third and fifth metacarpals;
  • and the fifth with the hamate and fourth metacarpal.

Congenital disorders

The fourth and fifth metacarpal bones are commonly "blunted," or shortened, in pseudohypoparathyroidism and pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism.

A blunted fourth metacarpal, with normal fifth metacarpal, can signify Turner syndrome.

In other animals

In four-legged animals, the metacarpals form part of the forefeet, and are frequently reduced in number, appropriate to the number of toes. In digitigrade and unguligrade animals, the metacarpals are greatly extended and strengthened, forming an additional segment to the limb, a feature that typically enhances the animal's speed. In both birds and bats, the metacarpals form part of the wing.

See also

Additional images

Notes

  1. ^ Tubiana et al 1998, p 11

References

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.


Simple English

Bone: Metacarpals
The five metacarpal bones, numbered.
Multiple fractures of the metacarpals (aka broken hand).

The metacarpus is the intermediate part of the hand skeleton. It is located between the phalanges (bones of the fingers) distally and the carpus which forms the connection to the forearm. The metacarpus consists of metacarpal bones.









Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message