Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tendonitis of the Wrist Anatomy

To better understand wrist tendinitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the wrist joint.

Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. Each end of a muscle attaches to a bone. The two bones come together to form a joint. When a muscle contracts, the tendons pull on the bones, resulting in movement of the joint. Tendons are strong, but they are subject to stress from overuse and injury.

Wrist tendon anatomy includes:

  • The extensor tendons of the wrist and hand
  • The extensor tendon sheaths

The wrist is made of 10 bones: 8 carpal bones and 2 forearm bones. The carpal bones include the scaphoid, lunate, trapezoid, trapezium, hamate, capitate, triquetrum, and pisiform. The forearm bones include the radius and ulna. Ligaments hold the bones together during movement.

Bony structures of the wrist include:
  • Forearm, wrist and hand bones
  • Carpal bones of the wrist
  • Metacarpal bones of the hand

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tendonitis of the Wrist References
  1. Bennett R. Addressing musculoskeletal pain. Geriatrics. 2004 Aug;59(8):11-2. [15332411]
  2. Brosseau L, Casimiro L, Milne S, Robinson V, Shea B, Tugwell P, Wells G. Deep transverse friction massage for treating tendinitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(4):CD003528. [12519601]
  3. Mazieres B, Rouanet S, Guillon Y, Scarsi C, Reiner V. Topical ketoprofen patch in the treatment of tendinitis: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study. J Rheumatol. 2005 Aug;32(8):1563-70. [16078335]
  4. Tanaka S, Petersen M, Cameron L. Prevalence and risk factors of tendinitis and related disorders of the distal upper extremity among U.S. workers: comparison to carpal tunnel syndrome. Am J Ind Med. 2001 Mar;39(3):328-35. [11241566]
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