Bones in the Wrist

By Demetria Velazquez, PT

How many Bones are in your Wrist?

The wrist is made up of 8 bones connected to the two long bones in the lower arm. These 8 bones are:

  1. Scaphoid
  2. Lunate
  3. Triquetrum
  4. Pisiform
  5. Trapezium
  6. Trapezoid
  7. Capitate
  8. Hamate

“Sally Left The Party To Take Cathy Home.”

The 8 carpal bones are usually referenced starting on the thumb, radius-side, to the pinky, ulna-side. Also, A popular mnemonic to remember the carpal bones in order from thumb-side to pinky-side is “Sally Left The Party To Take Cathy Home.”

Lower Arm Bones

The two bones in the lower are called the Radius and the Ulna. The Radius is a long and thicker bone that is located on the thumb side of the wrist. The Ulna is a long but thinner bone that is located on the pinky side of the wrist. These 2 bones connect to the bones in the hand, known as the carpal bones, to make up the wrist.

Diagram labeling the individual bones in the wrist simplifying anatomy. JOI Rehab

Bones in the Wrist

What Bones are in the Wrist?

The wrist consist of 8 carpal bones. These bones connect to the 2 long bones in the lower arm, Radius, and Ulna. Together, the bones and joints allow the hand to move in several directions.

Bones of the Wrist are Called

The long bone on the thumb side, the radius, connects with the first three carpal bones. These bones are the scaphoid, lunate, and triquetrum bones. The radius to these 3 carpal bones makes up the radiocarpal joint on the thumb side of the wrist. 

The long bone on the pinky side, the ulna, connects with the lunate and the triquetrum carpal bones. Additionally, The ulna’s connection to these 2 carpal bones makes up the ulnocarpal joint on the pinky side of the wrist. 

The name of the bones in your fingers are metacarpals. These bones connect to the four carpal bones to make up the carpometacarpal joints. These four carpal bones are trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate.

What is the Bone that Sticks out on your Wrist Called?

The Pisiform is the carpal bone that sticks out the side of the wrist. It is known for being the most visible bone in the wrist.

The Function of the Bones in the Wrist:

The wrist bones make the wrist more stable while also allowing a wide range of movement. Additionally, The bones connecting to the radius and ulna, creating the above-indicated joints, allow you to move your hand up and down to wave, twist to open a door, and move your hand side-to-side to move a mouse on your computer. 

Common Wrist Injuries

Wrist bones highlighted red to show wrist pain and potential medical problems of the wrist.

Wrist in Pain

The wrist is further connected by ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Additionally, Injury can occur in various ways since the wrist can move in many directions. 

  1. Sprain – stretching the ligaments that connect the bones in the wrist by carrying something heavy or catching yourself from a fall. 
  2. Fracture – breaking one of the carpal bones in the wrist or the part of the radius or ulna that connects to the carpal bones. 
  3. Stress injuries – These types of injuries occur over time due to the repetitive nature of certain movements with your hands and wrists. Typing, writing, or playing tennis can cause these types of injuries to the wrist, which may lead to carpal tunnel, ganglion cysts, or tendinitis

What is the Most Common Wrist Fracture?

The most common fracture that the occurs to the wrist is a Distal Radius Fracture.

Distal radius fractures are the most common wrist fractures to occur to the human wrist bones. JOI Rehab

Distal Radius Fracture

A Scaphoid Fracture is the most common fracture among the carpal bones. In most instances, It is usually fractured in a fall with the arm and hand outstretched to catch oneself.

Written by: Demetria Velazquez, PT

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