The carpus is the skeleton of the wrist.
Location of the carpus
The carpus is a group of bones making up the skeleton of the wrist located between the forearm bones (radius, ulna) and the hands (the metacarpal bones).
Structure of the carpus
The carpus consists of eight bones organised in two rows. The first (the closest to the forearm bones) contains:
- the scaphoid bone ;
- the lunate or semilunar bone ;
- the triquetrum or pyramidal bone ;
- and the pisiform or accessory bone.
The second row closest to the metacarpal bones contains:
- the trapezium bone,
- the trapezoid bone;
- the capitate bone bone;
- and the hamate bone.
Function of the carpus
Because of its position, the carpus provides the hand with a considerable flexibility and amplitude of movement.
Skeleton of the right and left hands. 1-radius; 2-ulna; 3-metacarpal bones; A-scaphoid; B-lunate; C-triquetrum; D-pisiform; E-trapezium; F-trapezoid; G-capitate; H-hamate. © Zoph, Wikimedia, CC by-sa 3.0