Wrist Joint

The wrist is a condyloid joint formed by the radius and the distal surface of the articular disk uniting with the scaphoid, lunate, and triquetrum.

Flexion and extension are movements about a coronal axis. From the anatomical position, flexion is movement in an anterior direction, approximating the palmar surface of the hand toward the anterior surface of the forearm. Extension is movement in a posterior direction, approximating the dorsum of the hand toward the posterior surface of the forearm. Starting with the wrist straight (as in the anatomical position) as the zero position, the range of flexion is approximately 80° and that of extension approximately 70°. The fingers will tend to extend when measuring wrist flexion and to flex when measuring wrist extension.

Abduction (radial deviation) and adduction (ulnar deviation) are movements about a sagittal axis. With the hand in the anatomical position, moving it toward the ul-nar side also moves it medially toward the midline of the body and, hence, is adduction. Moving the hand toward the radial side is abduction. With the anatomical position as the zero position, the range of adduction is approximately 35° and that of abduction approximately 20°.

Circumduction combines the successive movements of flexion, abduction, extension, and adduction of the ra-diocarpal joint and the midcarpal joint. The movements of these joints are closely related and permit the hand to describe a cone. Abduction is more limited than adduction, because the radial styloid process extends farther caudally than the ulnar styloid process.

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