What is the bone in the lower part of the hand called?


The bone in the lower part of the hand is called the carpal bone. The hand consists of several bones, with the carpal bone being one of them. It is situated between the metacarpal bones of the hand and the radius and ulna bones of the forearm. The carpal bone is crucial for maintaining the stability and flexibility of the hand, allowing us to perform various movements and tasks.

Structure of the Carpal Bone

The carpal bone is a complex structure composed of eight small bones arranged in two rows. These rows are known as the proximal row (closer to the forearm) and the distal row (closer to the fingers). Each row consists of four bones.

Proximal Row

  • Scaphoid: It is the largest bone in the proximal row and is shaped like a boat. It is located at the base of the thumb side of the wrist.
  • Lunate: Positioned next to the scaphoid bone, the lunate bone is moon-shaped and connects the scaphoid bone to the radius bone of the forearm.
  • Triquetrum: This bone is triangular in shape and lies next to the lunate bone, on the opposite side of the scaphoid bone.
  • Pisiform: The pisiform bone is the smallest bone in the proximal row and is found on the ulnar side of the wrist, close to the palm.

Distal Row

  • Trapezium: Located at the base of the thumb, the trapezium bone is positioned adjacent to the scaphoid bone.
  • Trapezoid: The trapezoid bone is situated next to the trapezium bone and is approximately wedge-shaped.
  • Capitate: It is the largest bone in the hand and forms the center of the wrist. The capitate bone connects the distal row to the metacarpal bones.
  • Hamate: The hamate bone is positioned on the ulnar side of the hand, near the palm. It has a hook-like structure called the hamulus.

All of these carpal bones work together to provide stability, protect vital structures, and enable a wide range of movements in the wrist and hand.

Functions of the Carpal Bone

The carpal bone plays a crucial role in the functioning of the hand. It provides support and stability to the wrist joint, allowing it to bear weight and withstand forces during various activities. The carpal bone also assists in the transmission of forces from the forearm to the hand and vice versa.

Additionally, the carpal bone facilitates smooth and coordinated movements of the hand, allowing us to perform intricate tasks with precision. It acts as a bridge between the forearm and the fingers, enabling the flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, and rotation of the wrist joint.

Furthermore, the carpal bone protects important structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and tendons that pass through the wrist region. It creates a tunnel-like structure called the carpal tunnel, which houses the median nerve and several flexor tendons responsible for finger movements.

The Inside of a Real Hand


Common Injuries and Conditions of the Carpal Bone

Due to its anatomical location and involvement in various hand movements, the carpal bone is susceptible to injuries and conditions that can affect its function. Some common carpal bone injuries and conditions include:


Fractures of the carpal bone can occur due to falls, direct trauma, sports injuries, or repetitive stress. These fractures may involve one or more carpal bones, and the severity can range from hairline fractures to complete breaks. Treatment typically involves immobilization, splinting, or in severe cases, surgical intervention.


Dislocation of the carpal bone can result from significant trauma or excessive force applied to the wrist joint. This displacement can disrupt the normal alignment and functioning of the wrist, leading to pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Treatment usually involves repositioning the bone back into its proper position and immobilizing the wrist to promote healing.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition characterized by compression or irritation of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. This can occur due to repetitive hand movements, inflammation, or anatomical abnormalities. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger. Treatment options range from conservative measures such as splinting and physical therapy to surgical release of the carpal tunnel.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the carpal bones, causing pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. It commonly occurs as a result of wear and tear, aging, or previous injuries. Treatment focuses on pain management, joint protection, and maintaining hand function.


The carpal bone, located in the lower part of the hand, is a complex structure composed of eight small bones. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the stability, flexibility, and functionality of the hand. Understanding the structure and functions of the carpal bone is essential for diagnosing and treating various injuries and conditions that can affect the hand and wrist. Proper care and preventive measures, such as avoiding excessive stress and maintaining proper ergonomics, can help minimize the risk of carpal bone-related issues and promote optimal hand health.

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