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Articular Capsules of Metacarpophalangeal Joints
Connective Tissue

Articular Capsules of Metacarpophalangeal Joints

Capsulae articulares articulationum metacarpophalangearum

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Anatomical Relations

The articular capsules of the metacarpophalangeal joints are the membranous sacs enclosing the articular surface of the distal metacarpal bones and the bases of the proximal phalanges. It is composed of an outer fibrous membrane and an inner synovial membrane. The ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joints, i.e., the palmar, collateral, and accessory collateral ligaments reinforce the articular capsule.

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Function

The articular capsule of the metacarpophalangeal joint ensures that the joint is sealed, thus, keeping the lubricating synovial fluid within the joint. It provides passive stability to the joint by limiting the joint movement. Additionally, it provides active stability by containing numerous proprioceptive nerve endings which relay mechanical information back to the central nervous system (Ralphs and Benjamin, 1994).

References

Ralphs, J. R. and Benjamin, M. (1994) 'The joint capsule: structure, composition, ageing and disease', Journal of Anatomy, 184(Pt 3), pp. 503-509.

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Metacarpophalangeal Joint

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Distal to the MCP joints the EDC divides into a central slip and paired lateral slips which are joined by tendons of intrinsic muscles (interossei and lumbricals) to form the lateral band.

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