Anatomy of the Hand


Your hands are complex and versatile. They're strong and nimble, and can do very delicate movements. Let's look at the main structures of your hands so we can see how they do all the things they do.

Bones and joints

We begin with the bones. There are 27 in each hand. Starting at the wrist, you have eight small bones we call "carpal bones." Next, five metacarpal bones form the middle part of your hand. After that are the phalanges. These are the finger bones. They connect to each other with strong bands of tissue called "ligaments."

Muscles and tendons

To move these bones, you need two things: muscles (which provide power) and tendons (which connect muscle to bone). Your hands have lots of muscles and tendons. Some of the muscles that control your hands are in your hands. Other muscles are in the forearm, and they use long tendons to move your hands.

Nerves and vessels

Your hands are also woven with nerves and blood vessels. The nerves make them very sensitive to touch. These nerves can feel when something is hot, cold or sharp. And, the blood vessels in your hands provide blood to all the tissues and the bones.


Make sure you take care of your hands. Take injuries such as finger fractures and animal bites seriously. Hand injuries that aren't treated by a professional can lead to permanent disability.