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Proximal phalanges - hand

Other Terms: Phalanx proximalis manus

Type

long

Description

Like the metacarpal bones these bones are classified as having a proximal base, a narrowed shaft, and a distal head. The proximal phalanges are longer and more massive than the more distal phalanges. These palmodorsally flattened bones are typically more than three times longer than their widest point. The palmar surface is slightly concave and the dorsal surface slightly convex.

Etymology

A Greek term that refers to a line of heavy-armed infantry drawn up in close order to do battle. The parallel digital rays resembled these lines of battle.

Articulations

The proximal ends of these bones articulate with the metacarpal bones. The large metacarpal heads fit into a small concave articular facet at the base of the phalanx forming a mobile joint. Their distal articular surfaces form spline-like faces that limit the medial and lateral movement of these joints.

Ossification

The proximal phalanges form a primary center in the mid-shaft region of the bone during the tenth week of prenatal life. Secondary epiphyseal centers arise early in the second year in females and later in that same year in males. The epiphyses unite between the fifteenth and eighteenth year, typically earlier in females.

Latin

Phalanx proximalis manus

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