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Ligaments of the wrist and hand: want to learn more about it?

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Ligaments of the wrist and hand

Learning objectives

After going through this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Identify the main joints of the wrist and hand.
  2. Name and locate the ligaments that support those joints.

Watch video

The ligaments are the connective tissue structures that connect two articulating bones. They participate in the stabilization of joints, but can also limit certain movements based on their position within the joint.

The wrist and hand feature several joints. Proximal to distal, the first one is the radiocarpal (wrist) joint which connects the forearm and the hand. The rest of the joints are in the hand, connecting groups of bones to each other (e.g. carpal and metacarpal), as well as individual bones amongst themselves (e.g. scaphoid and lunate). Namely, these joints are: intercarpal, carpometacarpal, intermetacarpal, metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints.

The proper function of the ligaments is crucial for the normal mobility and function of the wrist and hand. This study unit will help you learn the anatomy and function of the ligaments of the wrist and hand.

Check out the video below to find out more about the many many ligaments of the wrist and hand!

Take a quiz

Interactive learning is one of the best ways to study. Try this quiz and reinforce your knowledge.

… or you can fully customize your quiz and choose the topics that you will get questions from.

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at each individual ligament of the wrist and hand in the gallery below!


Key points about the ligaments of the wrist and hand
Radiocarpal (wrist) joint Dorsal radiocarpal ligament
Palmar radiocarpal ligament
Dorsal ulnocarpal ligament
Palmar ulnocarpal ligament (Ulnocapitate, ulnolunate, ulnotriquetral, ulnopisiform)
Ulnar collateral ligament of wrist joint
Radial collateral ligament of wrist joint
Intercarpal joints Radiate carpal ligament
Dorsal intercarpal ligaments (Dorsal scaphotriquetral)
Palmar intercarpal ligaments (Scaphotrapeziotrapezoidal, scaphocapitate, palmar scaphotriquetral, triquetrocapitate, triquetrohamate, pisotriquetral, palmar capitohamate, palmar trapezoideocapitate, palmar lunotriquetral)
Interosseous intercarpal ligaments (Scapholunate, trapeziotrapezoidal, capitohamate, trapezoideocapitate, lunotriquetral)
Carpometacarpal joints Dorsal carpometacarpal ligaments
Palmar carpometacarpal ligaments
Intermetacarpal joints Dorsal metacarpal ligaments
Palmar metacarpal ligaments
Interosseous metacarpal ligaments
Metacarpophalangeal joints Collateral metacarpophalangeal ligaments
Palmar metacarpophalangeal ligaments
Deep transverse metacarpal ligament
Interphalangeal joints Collateral interphalangeal ligaments of hand
Palmar interphalangeal ligaments

Well done!

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