Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 25 On the Carpus

[Table describing the figures of Chapter XXV]

The first two figures apply not only to the present chapter but also to the three following, in which the parts of the hand are also explained. We shall call what Hippocrates named a)kro/xeir 2 the top or end of the “hand,” that is, the part which lies between the forearm and the farthest [distalis] tip of the fingers and which we divide into carpus, metacarpus, and fingers. 3 By “hand,” Hippocrates meant whatever comes between the scapuli and the end of the fingers and is subdivided into arm, forearm, and hand. Thus, the first figure of this chapter shows the inner [palmaris] surface of the bones of the hand. The second includes the outer [dorsalis] surface of the same bones, appropriately drawn. The four subsequent figures are peculiar to this chapter and represent only the eight carpal bones in various aspects. The one identified as third shows the inner [carpale palmare] surface of the eight wrist bones, all together in place. The fourth has the same bones drawn from their outer [carpale dorsale] aspect. The fifth includes the upper part [pars proximalis] of the wrist bones, where they are articulated to the forearm. The sixth displays the lower surface of the wrist bones, to which the first bone of the thumb [os metacarpale I] and the four metacarpal bones [ossa metacarpalia II-V] are attached. The index of characters will be as follows.

1-8[ 1, 2 ] These eight numerals designate the eight bones of the carpus in all six of the present figures, if all were seen on the surface in which the wrist presents itself. Each bone is always identified with its own number, and in this way shows its name. We shall call the first bone [os scaphoideum] that which is marked 1, the second [os lunatum] the one marked 2. Thus 1, 2, 3, 4 mark the upper [proximalis] row of the eight wrist bones, these being the four higher or nearest to the forearm. 5, 6, 7, 8 indicate the lower [distalia] bones, which are conterminous to the metacarpus. 4
I-IV[ 1, 2 ] The four metacarpal bones are marked in the first and second figure; 5 there is no reason not to name them by the number written on them — unless one prefers to name them from the finger they support, and which they precede.
A, B, C 1, 2 Three bones of the thumb [pollex] which we also call internodes. 6
D, E, F 1, 2 Three bones of the index finger [digitus secundus]; the same system applies to the other fingers as well. 7
G 3, 6 Depression [facies articularis, basis metacarpalis I] of the fifth carpal bone [os trapezium], and surface to which the first bone [os metacarpale I] of the thumb is articulated. We measure the length of this depression transversely from a to b in the sixth figure. The internal [medialis] surface is marked c, the external [lateralis] d, which is also visible in the fourth figure.
H 3, 4, 6 Surface [facies articularis] of the sixth carpal bone [os trapezoideum] to which the metacarpal bone supporting the index finger [digitus secundus] is attached; on the fifth bone, h marks the place [facies articularis basis metacarpalis II] which the same metacarpal bone also touches.
K 3, 4, 6 Place [facies] on the seventh wrist bone [os capitatum] to which the metacarpal bone supporting the middle finger [digitus tertius] is attached. In the same figures, k marks the place [facies articularis basis metacarpalis III] where this metacarpal touches the sixth wrist bone.
L 3, 4, 6 Place on the eighth carpal bone [os hamatum] to which the metacarpal bone [os metacarpale IV] leading to the ring finger [digitus quartus] is attached.
M 3, 4, 6 Place on the eighth carpal bone to which the metacarpal bone [os metacarpale V] supporting the little finger [digitus quintus] is articulated.
N 1, 2 Ossicle [os sesamoideum] leaning against the outer side of the articulation of the eighth carpal bone to the metacarpal bone, by which the little finger is supported.
O 1 , 3, 6 Process of the eighth carpal bone [hamulus ossis hamati] protruding into the inner area of the carpus.
P 1 , 3, 6 Process [tuberculum ossis trapezii] of the fifth carpal bone from which originates the transverse ligament [retinaculum flexorum] that makes its insertion into the process of the eighth bone marked O; it is covered by tendons from the forearm 8 that go to the inner area of the hand.
Q 2 Upper epiphysis [basis metacarpalis II] of the metacarpal bone that supports the index finger [digitus secundus]; it is articulated to the carpus [os trapezium] [os trapezoideum].
R 2 Lower epiphysis [caput] of the metacarpal bone leading to the index finger, which forms the head that enters the depression of the first bone [phalanx proximalis] of the index finger. 9
S 1, 2 Interval between the metacarpal bone leading to the index finger and the one that supports the middle finger. The same system of epiphyses and intervals holds for the other metacarpal bones.
T 1, 2 In the first figure the inner of two sesamoid bones placed before the inside of the second thumb joint is marked; in the second figure, the outer.
V, V 1 Two sesamoid ossicles placed in front of the joint of the index finger. 10
X 1 A single sesamoid ossicle, or rather like a mustard seed, placed upon the second joint of the index finger. 11
Y 1 A single sesamoid ossicle, located on the third joint of the thumb. 12 In the remaining fingers the system is the same as with the index finger, though we have not shown the sesamoid ossicle of the second and third joint. 13



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 25 On the Carpus