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Synonym: Manus (Latin)
German: Hand

1 Definition

The hand refers to the grasping apparatus consisting of bone, muscle and soft portions of the human body which is found on the distal end of the upper limb.

2 Anatomy

The hand is composed of a bony skeleton and associated muscles, ligament and tendon apparati, blood supply and innervation. Anatomically speaking the hand can be roughly divided into the wrist area, the middle hand with the palm (palma manus) and dorsum (dorsum manus) attached to it, and at the ends the fingers (digiti manus).

Under the skin of the palm is a tough fascia, the palmar aponeurosis, which is connected via fibre tracts to the skin of the palm. It prevents an excessive displacement of the soft tissues when firmly gripping.

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2.1 Hand skeleton

The bony hand consists of the small bones of the carpus (carpus), and the long bones of the middle hand (metacarpus) and finger end members (phalanges). Furthermore, the bones of the hand are as follows:

2.2 Hand muscles

The bones of the hand, connected to one another via joints bones of the hand, are moved by the muscles of the forearm as well as those of the short hand muscles. With the muscles of the hand, a distinction exists between the thenar musculature located to the radial side of the ball of the thumb, the ulnar hypothenar musculature of the little finger, and the muscles of the palm.

2.2.1 Thenar muscles

2.2.2 Hypothenar muscles

2.2.3 Palmar muscles

2.3 Neurovasculature structure of hand

The sensory innervation of joints, skin, tendons and ligaments as well as the motor innervation of the muscles runs via the nervus medianus, the nervus radialis and nervus ulnaris.

The blood supply is provided via the arteria radialis and arteria ulnaris, which are connected to one another via the superficial palmar arch (arcus palmaris superficialis) and the deep palmar arch (arcus palmaris profundus).

3 Biomechanics

The hand is a complex structure which enables a human to probe and grip. Important to the gripping function is, in addition to the bending of the fingers II-V, the ability to oppose the thumb.

4 Clinical observations

A number of diseases can significantly limit the function of hand. These include:

A special branch of surgery, hand surgery, is dedicated to the restoration of hand injury.


This page was last edited on 17 June 2016, at 09:23.

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