What is the function of a wrist

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The wrist represents the connection between the hand and the forearm. This joint is used to move the entire hand in relation to the forearm. It consists of two joint areas, one between the radius and the carpal bones and one between the carpal bones and the metacarpal bones. Together they are a functional unit and enable extensive movements. Read everything you need to know about the wrist!

What is the wrist

The wrist is a two-part joint: the upper part is an articulated connection between the forearm bone, the radius, and the three carpal bones, scaphoid, lunar bone and triangular bone. An inter-joint disc (discus triangularis) between the radius and ulna (the second forearm bone) is also involved. The ulna itself is not connected to the carpal bones, nor is the pea bone, which, together with the scabbones, lunar and triangular bones, forms the upper row of the carpal bones. This also explains why the radius usually breaks when falling on the hand, but not the ulna.

The second, lower part of the wrist is an S-shaped joint space between the two rows of carpal bones. Two bones each of the lower row (large and small polygonal bone, head bone and hook bone) are articulated to one another. They are not only firmly connected to each other, but also to the metacarpal bones II-V. The mobility in this joint area is not as great as in the upper part of the wrist. But together they work as a functional unit.

Numerous ligaments stabilize the joint and many tendons make the movements possible. Some of the tendons run from the forearm to the wrist, others to the fingers. The important nerves that supply the palm and fingers also pass through the strong wrist ligament: the ulnar nerve, the radial nerve (radial nerve) and the middle nerve (median nerve).

What is the function of the wrist?

The movements in the wrist are very versatile: the hand can be angled upwards by around 70 degrees and downwards by around 80 to 90 degrees. These movements are called surface movements. The hand can also be moved sideways towards the forearm - to the radial side (thumb side) by about 15 to 20 degrees, to the ulnar side (on the side of the little finger) by about 45 degrees. These movements are called marginal or abduction movements. When surface and abduction movements are combined, a circular movement results (circumduction). If the hand is then turned, this leads to a circular motion. With all these variants of movement there are countless possibilities for extensive use of the hand for gripping, holding, turning, carrying and moving.

Where is the wrist located?

The wrist is the articulated connection between the forearm (with ulna and radius) and the hand.

What problems can the wrist cause?

A wrist fracture (distal radius fracture) is a very common type of bone fracture. The cause is usually a fall that you try to catch with your hand.

Tendonitis around the wrist is also widespread. It develops through chronic overloading of the tendons, for example during computer work, during sports (tennis, golf, climbing, etc.), making music (guitar, piano, etc.) or when doing frequent gardening.

In the case of the carpal tunnel syndrome, the middle arm nerve (medianus nerve) becomes in the narrow passage on the wrist constricted.

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