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Bones and Joints of the Arm

Anterior (front) view of the bones of the arm and hand

The arm (upper appendage) is part of the appendicular skeleton. The appendicular skeleton includes are limbs and pelvis and shoulders.

Posterior (back) view of the bones of the arm and hand

Bones of the Upper Appendage (Arm and Hand)

  • Shoulder girdle—scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collar bone)
  • Humerus—long bone of the upper arm
  • Radius—long bone of the forearm; connects with the humerus to form the elbow
  • Ulna—long bone of the forearm; connects with the humerus to form the elbow
  • Carpals—8 small bones of the wrist
  • Metacarpals—small bones of the hand
  • Phalanges—14 bones of the fingers (3 in each finger) and thumb (2 in the thumb)

Joints of the Upper Appendage (Arm)

  • Shoulder—links the arm to the trunk. It is located away from the trunk so the arm can move freely. The arm hangs vertically beside the trunk.
  • Elbow—the elbow can bend from 15 – 180 °. When the elbow is bent, the shoulder and metacarpus are in the same plane.
  • Wrist joint- otherwise known as “carpal.” The carpal joint links the forearm to the hand. Includes the radius and ulna from the forearm, 8-9 carpal bones, and the proximal ends of the metacarpal bones.
  • Finger joints- otherwise known as interphalangeal joints. These are the joints between the proximal and middle phalanges and then the middle and distal phalanges. These joints move the fingers toward the palm of the hand, also called flexion.

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