The metacarpals phalanges and calcaneus

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Other skeletal sites can be studied using the techniques available today. The metacarpals, phalanges, and calcaneus were among the very first sites studied with the older techniques of radiographic photodensitometry and radiogrammetry. These sites are increasingly utilized today with the advent of computerized radiographic absorptiometry, computerized radiogrammetry, and DXA and ultrasound units. Figure 2-31 illustrates the anatomy of the hand and the location of the metacarpals and phalanges. The middle phalanges of the index, long, and ring fingers are the phalangeal regions most often quantified. Figure 3-32 illustrates the appearance of the phalanges on a computerized radiographic absorptiometry study, whereas Fig. 3-33 illustrates the appearance of the metacarpals on a computer-assisted radiogrammetry study. The anatomy of the calcaneus6 is illustrated in Fig. 3-34. The calcaneus contains an extremely high percentage of trabecular bone and is exquisitely sensitive to weight-bearing activities. Both the phalanges and the calcaneus have been shown to be useful sites for the prediction of hip fracture risk (45-47). The relative percentages of trabecular and cortical bone for the phalanges and calcaneus are found in Table 2-1.

4 The Troms0 Study is a population-based study, conducted in Troms0, Norway, that focuses on lifestyle-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

5 See Chapter 11 for a discussion of precision. Because precision is a measure of variability, an increase in precision is undesirable.

6 The calcaneus is also known as the os calcis or heel.

Metacarpals Atlas

Fig. 2-31. The dorsal surface of the hand. The numbering on the index finger would apply to the long, ring, and small fingers as well. 1, 2 and 3 are the distal, mid- and proximal phalanges, 4 indicates the metacarpal. R and U indicate the radius and ulna, respectively. (Adapted from McMinn RMH, Hutchings RT, Pegington J, and Abrahams PH. [1993] Colour Atlas of Human Anatomy, 3rd edition, p. 112. By permission of the publisher Mosby.)

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Fig. 2-32. A radiographic absorptiometry analysis of the mid-phalanges of the index, long, and ringer fingers. Case provided courtesy of CompuMed Inc., Los Angeles, CA.
Anatomy Sectra
Fig. 2-33. An X-ray image from computer-assisted radiogrammetry of the metacarpals of the index, long, and ring finger. Case provided courtesy of Sectra Pronosco, Denmark.

Fig. 2-34. A lateral view of the bones of the left foot. The T indicates the talus. The C indicates the calcaneus. (Adapted from McMinn RMH, Hutchings RT, Pegington J, and Abrahams PH. [1993] Colour Atlas of Human Anatomy, 3rd edition, p. 284. By permission of the publisher Mosby.)

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  • deanna
    How long are the metacarpals?
    8 years ago

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