The hand is a highly complex structure of numerous bones, joints, muscles and tendons and ligaments. Read more about function and possible problems here!


The hand Like the foot, it is a highly complex structure made up of numerous individual parts: 27 bones, 36 joints and 39 muscles as well as various tendons and ligaments combine to form a versatile tool that has evolved over the course of evolution into our most important grasping and sensing organ. Read everything important about anatomy and function of the hand as well as frequent injuries and illnesses!

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  • What is the hand?

  • What is the function of the hand?

  • Where is the hand?

  • What problems can the hand cause?

What is the hand?

The most important organ of the body is divided into the carpal, metacarpal and fingers. The carpal root is formed by eight small, squat bones, four of which are distributed on two transverse rows and are named after their shape: navicular, lunar, triangular and pea are arranged towards the forearm, large and small polygonal leg, and head bone and hook leg in direction metacarpal. A donkey bridge helps to remember the names: "A boat in the moonlight in the triangle around the pea, polygon big and polygon small, on the head there must be a hook."

These little bones are held together tightly by ligaments and form a vault with the bulge upwards. On the inside of a strong, transversely extending band is a passage for tendons and nerves, which pull from the forearm into the palm of the hand, allowing movements and sensory perceptions. The carpal bones as a whole are an articulated connection to the forearm (ulna, spine) as well as to the metacarpal bones.

The metacarpal consists of five bones (Metacarpalia), which are numbered Roman from I to V, and forms the palm of the hand. Between the first metacarpal bone (which leads to the thumb) and the large polygonal leg is a well-articulated joint. Thanks to this, the thumb can be the only finger to face all other fingers - irreplaceable for gripping and holding objects. The remaining four metacarpal bones are articulated to the carpal bones via tight ligaments and form - like this one - a vault. When you make a fist, you can clearly see the heads of the metacarpals, because they project as spherical protrusions under the skin.

The fingers are composed of 14 individual elongated bones, which - like the 14 toe bones on the foot - are divided as follows: The thumb (like the big toe) consists of only two bones, the base and the end or nail member. The remaining fingers (or toes) are composed of three bones each: basic, middle and end or nail member.

What is the function of the hand?

Main function is grasping. Here, the thumb plays a crucial role, as he can form the only finger with all other fingers a pair of pliers. But not only the gripping function makes the hand to something special: Due to the numerous Tastkörperchen, of which many are located in the finger berries, it is also an important sensory organ, which can be very sophisticated by special training - as for example for Blind person is needed for orientation and reading braille.

Where is the hand?

It forms the end of the arm as the foot forms the end of the leg. It is articulated to the forearm via the wrist.

What problems can the hand cause?

The carpal bones are particularly susceptible to injury: If you fall on the outstretched hand in a bicycle accident, for example, a break is often the result, which affects the scaphoid in 70 percent of the cases. Frequent injuries include finger dislocations (finger dislocations) and finger fractures (finger fractures). The carpal tunnel syndrome is narrowed the middle arm nerve in the bony-connective tissue passage at the wrist. The consequences are sensory disorders in the fingers, ranging from mild discomfort to paralysis. Joint erosion (arthritis), arthritis (as in rheumatoid arthritis), bone inflammation (osteomyelitis) and gout are other possible diseases that include the hand may affect.

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