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It consists of five cylindrical bones which are numbered from the radial to the ulnar side (ossa metacarpalia I-V).
Common characteristics of the metacarpal bones
Each consists of a body and two extremities.
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.
To the tubercles on the digital extremities are attached the collateral ligaments of the metacarpophalangeal joints.
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.
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.
Besides their phalangeal articulations, the metacarpal bones articulate as follows:
This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metacarpus". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|