The wrist connects the hand to the forearm. It consists of the distal ends of the radius and ulna bones, eight carpal bones, and the proximal ends of five metacarpal bones. This arrangement of bones allows for a wide range of movement. The wrist can bend, straighten, move laterally, and rotate. It is relatively prone to injury. Force or stress can injure any of the bones.
There are 10 bones in the human wrist:
These 10 bones form 8 joints within the wrist and hand:
All of these bones and joints help us move our wrist to function in all of our everyday activities. Some common bone and joint conditions of the wrist include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint dislocations, and wrist fractures of either the radius, ulna, or carpals.
Ligaments are strong fibrous bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. These provide stability and assist with mobility to joints throughout motion. There are two types of ligaments in the wrist, extrinsic and intrinsic.
Some of the common conditions of ligaments in the wrist include a wrist sprain, which is a stretching or tearing of any of the ligaments in the wrist. If these are left untreated, they can often lead to earth degenerative conditions such as arthritis, Scapho-lunate Advanced Collapse (SLAC), and other debilitating wrist conditions.
There are numerous tendons of various muscles that insert into the wrist to allow it to perform all of its motions and functions. Tendons attach muscles to bones.
Some of the most common conditions that affect the tendons of the wrist include Dequervain’s tenosynovitis, ECU, FCR, or FCU tendonitis, snapping ECU syndrome.
Peripheral nerves are tubes that extend out of the spinal cord and transmit electrical impulses that provide sensory and motor information to various stimuli and muscles to allow us to feel and move our body. There are a variety of nerves in the upper extremities, mostly of which originate from our neck, or cervical spine.
Some of the most common conditions that affect the nerves of the wrist include brachial plexus injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, anterior interosseous nerve syndrome, or posterior interosseous nerve syndrome.
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