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The hand is a highly dexterous part of our upper limb which allows us to perform precise and accurate movements essential for us to interact with our environment. The structures of the hand are highly adapted to allow for this wide variety of movements, including many joints, intrinsic and extrinsic muscles.

The joints are the metacarpophalangeal joints, proximal interphalangeal joints and the distal interphalangeal joints which, in combination with the muscles of the hand, act to move your fingers.

The movements of the hand are wide and varied, including; Flexion and extension of the digits; Abduction and adduction of the digits; Opposition of the thumb and little finger; Reposition of the thumb and the little finger. These are made possible by the many joints and many muscles of the hand, including the extrinsic muscles (which enter the hand via the carpal tunnel) and the intrinsic muscles of the hand such as the thenar and hypothenar muscles.

As it has many structures, the hand requires extra stability which is provided in part by ligaments. Each joint in the finger is reinforced by a medial and lateral collateral ligament, with the metacarpophalangeal joints having palmar plates to provide even more stability.

In this section, learn more about the structures of the hand….

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