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Wrist Joint Anatomy: Bones-Ligaments-muscles

The wrist joint is a complex joint that connects the forearm to the hand. For a physiotherapist it is very important to know about the wrist joint anatomy. It is made up of eight small bones called carpal bones as well as the radius and ulna bones of the forearm. The wrist joint allows for a wide range of movements including flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and circumduction.

Wrist bones and ligaments

Carpal Bones: The carpal bones are arranged in two rows of four bones each. The proximal row consists of the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum and pisiform bones. The distal row consists of the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate bones. The carpal bones are held together by ligaments which provide stability to the joint.

Radius and Ulna: The radius and ulna are the two bones in the forearm. The radius is the bone on the thumb side of the forearm and the ulna is the bone on the pinky finger side of the forearm. Radius is more involved in wrist movements than the ulna.

The Ligaments: Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect the bones of the wrist joint. They provide stability to the joint and prevent it from moving too much. The main ligaments of the wrist joint are the radial collateral ligament, ulnar collateral ligament and palmar radiocarpal ligament.

Tendons of Wrist Joint

The tendons are bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. They allow the muscles to move the bones. The tendons of the wrist joint are responsible for flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and circumduction.

Muscles around the wrist joint

There are two main groups of muscles that move the wrist joint: the flexor muscles and the extensor muscles.

Flexor muscles bend the wrist joint towards the palm. The main flexor muscles are the flexor carpi radialis, the flexor carpi ulnaris and the palmaris longus.

  • The flexor carpi radialis is the largest of the flexor muscles. It is located on the front of the forearm.
  • The flexor carpi ulnaris is located on the inside of the forearm.
  • The palmaris longus is a small muscle that is not present in everyone. It is located on the inside of the forearm.

Extensor muscles straighten the wrist joint. The main extensor muscles are the extensor carpi radialis brevis, the extensor carpi radialis longus and the extensor carpi ulnaris.

  • The extensor carpi radialis brevis is located on the outside of the forearm.
  • The extensor carpi radialis longus is located on the outside of the forearm further away from the wrist.
  • The extensor carpi ulnaris is located on the inside of the forearm next to the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle.

Other muscles that move the wrist joint include the supinator and the pronator teres.

  • The supinator muscle is located on the outside of the forearm. It rotates the forearm so that the palm faces upwards.
  • The pronator teres muscle is located on the inside of the forearm. It rotates the forearm so that the palm faces downwards.

The muscles of the wrist joint work together to allow us to move our hands in many different ways. We use our hands for a variety of tasks such as writing, typing, eating and using tools. The muscles of the wrist joint are essential for these tasks.

The Range of Motion of the Wrist Joint

The wrist joint has a wide range of motion. It can flex up to 80 degrees, extend up to 70 degrees, abduct up to 20 degrees, adduct up to 20 degrees and circumduct 150 degrees.

The Importance of the Wrist Joint

The wrist joint is an important joint that allows us to perform a variety of tasks, such as typing, writing, eating and using tools. It is also important for balance and coordination. So understanding the anatomy of wrist joint is very to maintain the functionality of wrist.

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