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The skeleton of the human hand consists of 27 bones: the eight short carpal bones of the wrist are organized into a proximal row (scaphoid, lunate, triquetral and pisiform) which articulates with the bones of the forearm, and a distal row (trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate), which articulates with the bases of the five metacarpal bones of the hand. The heads of the metacarpals will each in turn articulate with the bases of the proximal phalanx of the fingers and thumb. These articulations with the fingers are the metacarpophalangeal joints known as the knuckles. At the palmar aspect of the first metacarpophalangeal joints are small, almost spherical bones called the sesamoid bones. The fourteen phalanges make up the fingers and thumb, and are numbered I-V (thumb to little finger) when the hand is viewed from an anatomical position (palm up). The four fingers each consist of three phalanx bones: proximal, middle, and distal. The thumb only consists of a proximal and distal phalanx. Together with the phalanges of the fingers and thumb these metacarpal bones form five rays or poly-articulated chains.

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