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Bone: Carpus
Proximal: A=Scaphoid, B=Lunate, C=Triquetral, D=Pisiform
Distal: E=Trapezium, F=Trapezoid, G=Capitate, H=Hamate
Latin ossa carpi
Gray's subject #54 221
MeSH Carpal+Bones
Dorlands/Elsevier o_07/12598168
This article is about Carpal bones. In Greek mythology, Carpus (Greek: Karpos, "fruit" also used as "wrist" in modern Greek) was a son of Chloris and Zephyrus.

In tetrapods, the carpus is the cluster of bones in the wrist between the radius and ulna and the metacarpus. The bones of the carpus do not belong to individual fingers, whereas those of the metacarpus do. (The corresponding part of the foot is the tarsus.) Carpal bones are not considered part of the hand but are part of the wrist. The carpal bones allow the wrist to move side to side, back and forth etc..


In other animals

While this article focuses primarily on human anatomy, the carpal bones have evolved differently in different animals.

For example in some macropods, the scaphoid and lunar bones are fused into the scapholunar bone.[1]

The carpus

Row Name Proximal/radial articulations Distal articulations Metacarpal articulations
Proximal Scaphoid radius, lunate trapezium, trapezoid, capitate -
Proximal Lunate radius, scaphoid, triquetral capitate, hamate -
Proximal Triquetral lunate, pisiform (but NOT ulna) hamate -
Proximal Pisiform (sesamoid bone) triquetral - -
Distal Trapezium scaphoid trapezoid #1 and #2
Distal Trapezoid scaphoid trapezium, capitate #2
Distal Capitate scaphoid, lunate trapezoid, hamate #2, #3 and #4
Distal Hamate triquetral, lunate capitate #4 and #5


There exist several Mnemonics to remember these bones:[2]

  • Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle.
  • Sally left the party / to take Cathy home.
  • Students Like The Professor / To Teach Complex Hypotheses
  • Stop Letting Those People / Touch The Cadaver's Hands
  • Sneh Lata Tinde Paka / Tere Tinde Catchey Hain (A Hindi version which is quite funny and hence popular among students in India, which can be roughly translated as an exhortation to a woman called Sneh Lata, asking her to properly cook a vegetable.)
  • Slow Lane To Preston / Tom Thumb Can Hum
  • SeLoTaPe/aTTaCH(you remove all the vowels for this one to get the eight (8) consonants)
  • Scared Lovers Try Positions That They Cannot Handle.
  • She Likes To Play / Try To Catch Her
  • Senior Lecturers Take Prostitutes To The Calthorpe Hotel
  • Soldiers Like To Philander ‘Til They Come Home
  • Say Later To Pinky, Here Comes The Thumb
  • So Long To Pinky, Here Comes The Thumb
  • She Looks Too Pretty : Try To Catch Her

Common characteristics of the carpal bones

Each bone (excepting the pisiform) presents six (6) surfaces.

Of these the palmar or anterior and the dorsal or posterior surfaces are rough, for ligamentous attachment; the dorsal surfaces being the broader, except in the lunate.

The superior or proximal, and inferior or distal surfaces are articular, the superior generally convex, the inferior concave; the medial and lateral surfaces are also articular where they are in contact with contiguous bones, otherwise they are rough and tuberculated.

The structure in all is similar: cancellous tissue enclosed in a layer of compact bone.

See also

Additional images


  1. ^
  2. ^ Mnemonic at 414 381 4 3448
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carpus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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