Metacarpus

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Metacarpals
Metacarpal bones (left hand) 01 palmar view with label.png
Metacarpus shown in red. Left hand, anterior (palmar) view.
Metacarpus ant with label.png
The five metacarpal bones, numbered. Left hand, anterior (palmar) view.
Latin ossa metacarpalia
Gray's p.227
Origins Carpus
Insertions Proximal phalanges
Articulations Carpometacarpal, intermetacarpal, metacarpophalangeal
MeSH Metacarpus
TA A02.4.09.001
FMA FMA:71336
Anatomical terms of bone

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

Structure

Left hand shown with thumb on left.

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 metacarpal bone consists of a body and two extremities (head and base).

Body

The body (Latin: 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.

2

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.

2

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.

2

Articulations

Besides the metacarpophalangeal joints, the metacarpal bones articulate by carpometacarpal joints as follows:

  1. the first with the trapezium;
  2. the second with the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and third metacarpal;
  3. the third with the capitate and second and fourth metacarpals;
  4. the fourth with the capitate, hamate, and third and fifth metacarpals;
  5. and the fifth with the hamate and fourth metacarpal;

Insertions

Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus/Brevis: Both insert on the base of metacarpal II; Assist with wrist extension and radial flexion of the wrist

Extensor Carpi Ulnaris: Inserts on the base of metacarpal V; Extends and fixes wrist when digits are being flexed; assists with ulnar flexion of wrist

Abductor Pollicis Longus: Inserts on the trapezium and base of metacarpal I; Abducts thumb in frontal plane; extends thumb at carpometacarpal joint

Opponens Pollicis: Inserts on metacarpal I; flexes metacarpal I to oppose the thumb to the fingertips

Opponens digiti minimi: Inserts on the medial surface of metacarpal V; Flexes metacarpal V at carpometacarpal joint when little finger is moved into opposition with tip of thumb; deepens palm of hand.3

Clinical significance

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.

Blunted metacarpals (particularly the fourth metacarpal) are a symptom of Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.

Fracture

The neck of a metacarpal (in the transition between the body and the head) is a common location for a boxer's fracture.

History

Etymology

The Greek physician Galen used to refer to the metacarpus as μετακάρπιον.45 The Latin form metacarpium 6478 more truly resembles4 its Ancient Greek predecessor μετακάρπιον than metacarpus.910

In anatomic Latin, adjectives like metacarpius,11 metacarpicus,12 metacarpiaeus,13 metacarpeus,14 metacarpianus 15 and metacarpalis 10 can be found. The form metacarpius is more true711 to the later Greek form μετακάρπιος.11 Metacarpalis, as in ossa metacarpalia in the current official Latin nomenclature, Terminologia Anatomica 10 is a compound consisting of Latin and Greek part.16 The usage of such hybrids in anatomic Latin is disapproved by some.716

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

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.

Additional images

References

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

  1. ^ Tubiana et al 1998, p 11
  2. ^ a b c Gray's Anatomy. (See infobox)
  3. ^ Saladin, Kenneth S. "Capt. 10." Anatomy & Physiology: the Unity of Form and Function. Dubuque: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 361-64. Print.
  4. ^ a b c Hyrtl, J. (1880). Onomatologia Anatomica. Geschichte und Kritik der anatomischen Sprache der Gegenwart. Wien: Wilhelm Braumüller. K.K. Hof- und Unversitätsbuchhändler.
  5. ^ Liddell, H.G. & Scott, R. (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  6. ^ Schreger, C.H.Th.(1805). Synonymia anatomica. Synonymik der anatomischen Nomenclatur. Fürth: im Bureau für Literatur.
  7. ^ a b c Triepel, H. (1908). Memorial on the anatomical nomenclature of the anatomical society. In A. Rose (Ed.), Medical Greek. Collection of papers on medical onomatology and a grammatical guide to learn modern Greek (pp. 176-193). New York: Peri Hellados publication office.
  8. ^ Triepel, H. (1910). Nomina Anatomica. Mit Unterstützung von Fachphilologen. Wiesbaden: Verlag J.F. Bergmann.
  9. ^ His, W. (1895). Die anatomische Nomenclatur. Nomina Anatomica. Der von der Anatomischen Gesellschaft auf ihrer IX. Versammlung in Basel angenommenen Namen. Leipzig: Verlag Veit & Comp.
  10. ^ a b c Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT) (1998). Terminologia Anatomica. Stuttgart: Thieme
  11. ^ a b c Triepel, H. (1910). Die anatomischen Namen. Ihre Ableitung und Aussprache. Mit einem Anhang: Biographische Notizen.(Dritte Auflage). Wiesbaden: Verlag J.F. Bergmann.
  12. ^ Triepel, H. & Stieve, H. (1936). Die anatomischen Namen. Ihre Ableitung und Aussprache. Anhang: Eigennamen, die früher in der Anatomie verwendet wurden.(Achtzehnte Auflage). Berlin/Heidelberg:Springer-Verlag.
  13. ^ Siebenhaar, F.J. (1850). Terminologisches Wörterbuch der medicinischen Wissenschaften. (Zweite Auflage). Leipzig: Arnoldische Buchhandlung.
  14. ^ International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee (1966). Nomina Anatomica . Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica Foundation.
  15. ^ Foster, F.D. (1891-1893). An illustrated medical dictionary. Being a dictionary of the technical terms used by writers on medicine and the collateral sciences, in the Latin, English, French, and German languages. New York: D. Appleton and Company.
  16. ^ a b Triepel, H. & Stieve, H. (1936). Die anatomischen Namen. Ihre Ableitung und Aussprache. Anhang: Eigennamen, die früher in der Anatomie verwendet wurden.(Achtzehnte Auflage). Berlin/Heidelberg:Springer-Verlag.







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