Structures of the Hand and Wrist
The hand and wrist are complex structures with three types of bones and 27 bones altogether. These are: 8 carpal or wrist bones, 5 metacarpal or “palm” bones, and 14 phalanges or finger and thumb bones. The carpals are round and rotate in a ball-bearing type of motion at the end of the radius bone. This gives your wrist the flexibility to move in any direction.
There are also 35 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the hand and wrist that support the broad range of joint movement.
All of these structures – both the bones and the soft tissues — are subjected to stresses of varying types and degrees with every movement. For example, you create stress on the hand and wrist joints when you pick up heavy objects, accidentally cut your hand, or do certain motions repetitively, such as typing, assembly line work, or sewing. And when you fall, you may use your hand to brace or cushion your fall.
With 27 bones and 35 soft tissue structures, a variety of problems can occur.