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Concept: Lunate bone


The derived proportions of the human hand may provide supportive buttressing that protects the hand from injury when striking with a fist. Flexion of digits 2-5 results in buttressing of the pads of the distal phalanges against the central palm and the palmar pads of the proximal phalanges. Additionally, adduction of the thenar eminence to abut the dorsal surface of the distal phalanges of digits 2 and 3 locks these digits into a solid configuration that may allow a transfer of energy through the thenar eminence to the wrist. To test the hypothesis of a performance advantage, we measured: (1) the forces and rate of change of acceleration (jerk) from maximum effort strikes of subjects striking with a fist and an open hand; (2) the static stiffness of the second metacarpo-phalangeal (MCP) joint in buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures; and (3) static force transfer from digits 2 and 3 to digit 1 also in buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures. We found that peak forces, force impulses and peak jerk did not differ between the closed fist and open palm strikes. However, the structure of the human fist provides buttressing that increases the stiffness of the second MCP joint by fourfold and, as a result of force transfer through the thenar eminence, more than doubles the ability of the proximal phalanges to transmit ‘punching’ force. Thus, the proportions of the human hand provide a performance advantage when striking with a fist. We propose that the derived proportions of hominin hands reflect, in part, sexual selection to improve fighting performance.

Concepts: Classical mechanics, Finger, Hand, Phalanx bones, Lunate bone, Anatomical terms of motion, Statics, Trapezium


To assess the personal, physical and psychosocial factors associated with wrist or hand pain in Australian hospital-based nurses.

Concepts: Lunate bone, Trapezium


Previous research has revealed significant size differences between human male and female carpal bones but it is unknown if there are significant shape differences as well. This study investigated sex-related shape variation and allometric patterns in five carpal bones that make up the radiocarpal and midcarpal joints in modern humans. We found that many aspects of carpal shape (76% of all variables quantified) were similar between males and females, despite variation in size. However, 10 of the shape ratios were significantly different between males and females, with at least one significant shape difference observed in each carpal bone. Within-sex standard major axis regressions (SMA) of the numerator (i.e., the linear variables) on the denominator (i.e., the geometric mean) for each significantly different shape ratio indicated that most linear variables scaled with positive allometry in both males and females, and that for eight of the shape ratios, sex-related shape variation is associated with statistically similar sex-specific scaling relationships. Only the length of the scaphoid body and the height of the lunate triquetrum facet showed a significantly higher SMA slope in females compared with males. These findings indicate that the significant differences in the majority of the shape ratios are a function of subtle (i.e., not statistically significant) scaling differences between males and females. There are a number of potential developmental, functional, and evolutionary factors that may cause sex-related shape differences in the human carpus. The results highlight the potential for subtle differences in scaling to result in functionally significant differences in shape. Anat Rec, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Human, Male, Female, Wrist, Carpus, Lunate bone, Trapezoid bone, Scaphoid bone


When the normal wrist rotates along the ‘dart-throwing’ plane, the proximal row remains still, with most motion occurring at the midcarpal joint. Whether this behaviour is maintained when the scapholunate ligaments are torn is not known. If this is the case, patients having a scapholunate ligament repair could benefit from early dart-throwing exercises without the risk of pulling the sutures apart. Using dynamic computer tomography, we analysed the carpal behaviour of six normal wrists and six wrists with scapholunate instability during dart-throwing motion. In the normal wrists, the scaphoid and lunate did not flex or extend, but translated along the frontal plane an average 5.9 and 5.6 mm, respectively. When the scapholunate ligaments were torn, the scaphoid shifted towards the radial styloid considerably more than the lunate (12.8 mm versus 4.8 mm; p = 0.005), inducing a scapholunate gap. Based on these findings, we cannot recommend dart-throwing exercises after scapholunate ligament repair, unless the joint is stabilized with wires or screws.

Concepts: Joint, Ligament, Wrist, Carpus, Lunate bone, Trapezoid bone, Midcarpal joint, Scapholunate ligament


Scaphocapitate fracture syndrome is rare, complex injury. We report an unusual presentation of scaphocapitate fracture syndrome, involving fracture of the scaphoid and capitate associated with volar dislocation of the lunate and scaphoid and the proximal fragment of the capitate in a 30-year-old male after a motor vehicle accident. Computed tomography was found to be helpful for achieving the correct diagnosis. Open reduction and internal fixation was performed. The scaphoid fracture was fixed using a headless compression screw, and the volar displaced proximal fragment of the capitate was reduced to its original position, but could not be fixed because of severe comminution. This case cautions that the capitate fragment should not be excised even when it cannot be fixed due to comminution.

Concepts: Tram accident, Lunate bone, Scaphoid bone


The carpals from the Homo floresiensis type specimen (LB1) lack features that compose the shared, derived complex of the radial side of the wrist in Neandertals and modern humans. This paper comprises a description and three-dimensional morphometric analysis of new carpals from at least one other individual at Liang Bua attributed to H. floresiensis: a right capitate and two hamates. The new capitate is smaller than that of LB1 but is nearly identical in morphology. As with capitates from extant apes, species of Australopithecus, and LB1, the newly described capitate displays a deeply-excavated nonarticular area along its radial aspect, a scaphoid facet that extends into a J-hook articulation on the neck, and a more radially-oriented second metacarpal facet; it also lacks an enlarged palmarly-positioned trapezoid facet. Because there is no accommodation for the derived, palmarly blocky trapezoid that characterizes Homo sapiens and Neandertals, this individual most likely had a plesiomorphically wedge-shaped trapezoid (like LB1). Morphometric analyses confirm the close similarity of the new capitate and that of LB1, and are consistent with previous findings of an overall primitive articular geometry. In general, hamate morphology is more conserved across hominins, and the H. floresiensis specimens fall at the far edge of the range of variation for H. sapiens in a number of metrics. However, the hamate of H. floresiensis is exceptionally small and exhibits a relatively long, stout hamulus lacking the oval-shaped cross-section characteristic of human and Neandertal hamuli (variably present in australopiths). Documentation of a second individual with primitive carpal anatomy from Liang Bua, along with further analysis of trapezoid scaling relative to the capitate in LB1, refutes claims that the wrist of the type specimen represents a modern human with pathology. In total, the carpal anatomy of H. floresiensis supports the hypothesis that the lineage leading to the evolution of this species originated prior to the cladogenetic event that gave rise to modern humans and Neandertals.

Concepts: Human, Hominidae, Wrist, Neanderthal, Carpus, Lunate bone, Trapezoid bone, Scaphoid bone


Hand and wrist injuries are common during athletics and can have a significant impact especially if initially disregarded. Due to their high level of physical demand, athletes represent a unique subset of the population.

Concepts: Lunate bone, Trapezium, Broken Boy Soldiers, The Raconteurs


Stage IIIc Kienböck’s disease is a clinical challenge to treat collapse of the lunate bone. A new reconstructive surgery was described in one patient using 3D printing lunate prosthesis. The prosthesis shape was designed by tomographic image processing and segmentation using technology compared with the intact side matched by mirror symmetry and 3D post-processing technologies. The patient recovered nearly full range of motion of the wrist after 12 months. The visual analog scale scores and Cooney scores were 2 points and 91 points. We demonstrated that an anatomical reconstruction to Kienböck’s Disease is possible using 3D printing lunate prosthesis.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical terms, Physician, Live albums, Technology, Reconstructive surgery, Lunate bone


The scaphoid is the most commonly fractured carpal bone. The presence of a concomitant hook of hamate fracture is of particular relevance given that it is often occult on routine wrist/scaphoid radiographs and that hook of hamate fractures are prone to symptomatic non-union, resulting in chronic ulnar wrist pain. Prompt diagnosis and immobilisation/fixation may minimise such complications. Our study is aimed at assessing the frequency of concomitant hook of hamate fractures in patients with scaphoid fractures.

Concepts: Wrist, Carpus, Lunate bone, Trapezoid bone, Scaphoid bone


The hominoid wrist has been a focus of numerous morphological analyses that aim to better understand long-standing questions about evolution of human and hominoid hand use. However, these same analyses also suggest various scenarios of complex and mosaic patterns of morphological evolution within the wrist and potentially multiple instances of homoplasy that require formal analysis within a phylogenetic context.We identify morphological features that principally characterize primate – and, in particular, hominoid (apes, including humans) - wrist evolution and reveal the rate, process and evolutionary timing of patterns of morphological change on individual branches of the primate tree of life. Linear morphological variables of five wrist bones – the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, capitate and hamate – are analyzed in a diverse sample of extant hominoids (12 species, 332 specimens), Old World (8 species, 43 specimens) and New World (4 species, 26 specimens) monkeys, fossil Miocene apes (8 species, 20 specimens) and Plio-Pleistocene hominins (8 species, 18 specimens).ResultResults reveal a combination of parallel and synapomorphic morphology within haplorrhines, and especially within hominoids, across individual wrist bones. Similar morphology of some wrist bones reflects locomotor behaviour shared between clades (scaphoid, triquetrum and capitate) while others (lunate and hamate) indicate clade-specific synapomorphic morphology. Overall, hominoids show increased variation in wrist bone morphology compared with other primate clades, supporting previous analyses, and demonstrate several occurrences of parallel evolution, particularly between orangutans and hylobatids, and among hominines (extant African apes, humans and fossil hominins).

Concepts: Primate, Hominidae, Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Ape, Monkey, Charles Darwin, Lunate bone