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Hand Anatomy

The human hand is made up of the wrist, palm, and fingers and consists of 27 bones, 27 joints, 34 muscles, over 100 ligaments and tendons, and many blood vessels and nerves.
The hands enable us to perform many of our daily activities such as driving, writing and cooking. It is important to understand the normal anatomy of the hand to learn more about diseases and conditions that can affect our hands.

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Hand & Wrist Conditions

  • Arthritis of the Hand and WristArthritis of the Hand and Wrist

    Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. There are several types of arthritis and the most common type is osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis. Arthritis affects various joints in the body and the arthritis in the hand affects the joint at the base of the thumb. Arthritis may also affect the joints of other digits.

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  • Arthritis of the ThumbArthritis of the Thumb

    Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. There are several types of arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis that affects the joint at the base of the thumb. Thumb arthritis is more common in women than men, and usually occurs after the age of 40 years.

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  • Boutonniere DeformityBoutonniere Deformity

    Tendons in your fingers connect the finger bones to finger muscles and help bend and straighten the finger at the joint when the muscles contract. Boutonnière deformity is a condition in which a tendon injury to the middle joint of the finger results in the inability to straighten the affected finger.

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  • Carpal Tunnel SyndromeCarpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition that is caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist area.

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  • De Quervain's TendinosisDe Quervain's Tendinosis

    The muscles and bones of your hand are connected by thick flexible tissue called tendons. Tendons are covered by a thin soft sheath of tissue known as synovium. Extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus are two tendons located on the thumb side of the wrist.

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  • Dupuytren's ContractureDupuytren's Contracture

    Dupuytren’s contracture is a hand condition where thickening of the underlying fibrous tissues of the palm causes the fingers to bend inward. This makes it difficult to fully straighten the affected fingers. It commonly occurs in the ring finger and little finger. Occasionally, the middle finger is affected, but the thumb and index finger are rarely affected.

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  • Fractures of the Hand and FingersFractures of the Hand and Fingers

    The hand is one of the most flexible and useful parts of our body. Because of overuse in various activities, the hands are more prone to injuries, such as sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations, lacerations and amputations while operating machinery, bracing against a fall and during sports.

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  • Gamekeeper's ThumbGamekeeper's Thumb

    Gamekeeper's thumb, also known as skier's thumb, is a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, a band of tissue that supports the joint at the base of the thumb.

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  • Ganglion CystGanglion Cyst

    Ganglion cysts are swellings that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of wrists or hands. They can be found either at the top of the wrist, palm side of the wrist, end joint of a finger or at the base of a finger. A ganglion cyst is not cancerous and will not spread to the other parts of the body. It looks like a water balloon on a stalk and contains a clear fluid or jelly material. Ganglion cysts can be found in people of all ages.

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  • Hand InfectionsHand Infections

    The hand becomes infected more frequently as it is one of the most commonly injured parts of our body.

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  • Hand PainHand Pain

    The hand is composed of nerves, bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons and skin. Each part has its specific function such as nerves transfer sensation, joints control movements, blood vessels maintain circulation, muscles provide motion, tendons anchor the muscles to the bones, and skin receives sensations.

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  • Scaphoid FactureScaphoid Facture

    The scaphoid bone is a small, boat-shaped bone in the wrist, which, along with 7 other bones, forms the wrist joint. It is present on the thumb side of the wrist, and is at a high risk for fractures. A scaphoid fracture is usually seen in young men aged 20 to 30 years. They can occur at two places: near the thumb or near the forearm.

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  • Thumb FractureThumb Fracture

    A break or a crack in the bones of the thumb is known as a thumb fracture. Fractures may occur anywhere on the thumb, but a fracture at the base of the thumb, near the wrist, is considered the most serious.

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  • Trigger FingerTrigger Finger

    The ability to bend the fingers is governed by supportive tendons that connect muscles to the bones of the fingers. The tendons run along the length of the bone and are kept in place at intervals by tunnels of ligaments called pulleys. When the fingers bend, or are straightened, a slippery coating called tenosynovium helps the tendons smoothly glide through the ligaments with reduced friction.

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  • Wrist FractureWrist Fracture

    The wrist is comprised of two bones in the forearm, the radius and ulna, and eight tiny carpal bones in the palm. The bones meet to form multiple large and small joints. A wrist fracture refers to a break in one or more of these bones.

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  • Wrist InjuriesWrist Injuries

    The wrist is a commonly injured joint in the body. Problems include sprains and strains as well as fractures that can occur with lifting and carrying heavy objects, while operating machinery, bracing against a fall, or from sports-related injuries.

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  • Wrist Ligament Tear and InstabilityWrist Ligament Tear and Instability

    A ligament is a strong, flexible band of fibrous tissue. The wrist has many ligaments that help to keep the wrist bones in proper position providing stability to the joint. A torn ligament causes the wrist bones to move out of their position, which in turn leads to wrist instability as the sprained (torn) ligament can no longer support the wrist bones.

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  • Wrist SprainWrist Sprain

    Injuries caused due to stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the wrist are called wrist sprains. Sprains can range from mild to severe, based on the extent of injury to the ligament.

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  • Wrist TumorsWrist Tumors

    A tumor is a lump or abnormal growth formed due to unregulated cell division. Wrist tumors can occur on or underneath the skin. They are most often benign (non-cancerous).

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Hand & Wrist Procedures

  • Carpal Tunnel Release SurgeryCarpal Tunnel Release Surgery

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition that is caused by the compression of the median nerve at the wrist area.

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  • Hand Fracture SurgeryHand Fracture Surgery

    The hand is one of the most flexible and useful parts of our body. Because of overuse in various activities, the hands are more prone to injuries, such as sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations, lacerations and amputations while operating machinery, bracing against a fall and sports-related injuries.

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  • Hand TherapyHand Therapy

    The elbow is a complex joint formed by the articulation of three bones – the humerus, radius, and ulna. The elbow joint helps in bending or straightening of the arm to 180 degrees and lifting or moving objects

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  • Wrist ArthroscopyWrist Arthroscopy

    Your wrist is a complex joint made up of eight small bones called carpal bones. These bones are supported by connecting ligaments. Various conditions can affect your wrist joint such as carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis and others.

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  • Wrist Joint ReplacementWrist Joint Replacement

    The wrist is a complex joint made up of 8 carpal bones aligned in two rows with four bones present in each row. The carpal bones are further connected to 5 metacarpal bones that form the palm of the hand. Each small bone forms a joint with the bone next to it. Thus, the wrist joint is made up of many small joints. The two bones of the forearm, radius and ulna, also form a joint with the first row of carpals.

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  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Athe American College of Surgeons
  • American Shoulder And Elbow Surgeons