6. Wrist and Hand

  1. Andrea Donovan MD2 and
  2. Mark Schweitzer MD3
  1. Deep Chatha

Published Online: 22 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118551691.ch6

Imaging Musculoskeletal Trauma: Interpretation and Reporting

Imaging Musculoskeletal Trauma: Interpretation and Reporting

How to Cite

Chatha, D. (2012) Wrist and Hand, in Imaging Musculoskeletal Trauma: Interpretation and Reporting (eds A. Donovan and M. Schweitzer), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118551691.ch6

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Medical Imaging, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

  2. 3

    Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118158814

Online ISBN: 9781118551691



  • carpal bones;
  • carpal dislocation;
  • computed tomography (CT);
  • hand trauma;
  • magnetic resonance (MR) imaging;
  • metacarpal fracture;
  • radiographs;
  • ultrasound;
  • wrist trauma


The wrist, or carpus, is defined as distal portion of radius and ulna, carpal bones and their articulations with metacarpal bases. The hand includes structures distal to metacarpal bases, namely metacarpophalangeal joints, phalanges and their articulations. The wrist and hand are anatomically distinct from each other and radiographic evaluation of each is different. Imaging of hand trauma and wrist trauma includes radiographs, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and ultrasound. Both fractures of the distal radius and ulna, and scaphoid fractures result from a fall on an outstretched hand. Most carpal dislocations are related to high-energy trauma related to either motor vehicle accidents or falling from a height. Metacarpal fractures are divided into fractures of the head and neck, shaft and base, with the first and fifth metacarpals being the most commonly fractured. Carpometacarpal (CMC) dislocations most frequently occur at the thumb and the fourth and fifth CMC joint.