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Fifth Metacarpal Bone
Skeletal System

Fifth Metacarpal Bone

Os quintum metacarpi

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Quick Facts

Location: Hand.

Bone Type: Long Bone.

Key Features: Head, body, base, medial and lateral surfaces, and proximal and distal articular facets.

Articulates With: Proximal phalanx of little finger, hamate, and fourth metacarpal bone.

Arterial Supply: Palmar metacarpal arteries.

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Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The fifth metacarpal bone is one of the five metacarpal bones of the hand. It’s classified as a long bone and includes the following bony features:

- parts: head, body, and base;

- surfaces: medial and lateral surfaces;

- landmarks: proximal and distal articular facets.

More information regarding these bony features can be found in the Parts, Surfaces and Landmarks tabs for this bone.

The fifth metacarpal bone is located:

- proximal to the proximal phalanx of little finger;

- distal to the hamate bone;

- medial to the fourth metacarpal bone.

It articulates with the:

- proximal phalanx of little finger at the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint;

- hamate bone, contributing to the formation of the carpometacarpal joints;

- fourth metacarpal bone, contributing to the formation of the intermetacarpal joints.

Ossification

Ossification of the fifth metacarpal bone occurs at two ossification centers, these are found in the:

- body, which appears in utero at the ninth week;

- head, which appears within the second to third years.

These ossification centers fuse with each other during the fifteenth to nineteenth years (Standring, 2016).

Variations

The base of the fifth metacarpal bone can vary between individuals in terms of the number and size of its articular surfaces.

Surface Anatomy

The following bony features of the fifth metacarpal bone are relevant to surface anatomy:

- the head can be palpated at the “knuckle” that is proximal to the proximal phalanx of the little finger, particularly during flexion of the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint;

- the body and base can be palpated along the medial aspect of the hand.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Fracture of fifth metacarpal bone (base or body)

- Boxer’s fracture of fifth metacarpal bone

- Reverse Bennet’s fracture or dislocation

- Mauclaire’s disease

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Metacarpal Bone

ScienceDirect image

The dorsally convex metacarpal bones act as skeletal arches to provide a gliding surface for the long extensor tendons and a concavity in which the long flexors and lumbrical muscles tuck away into the palm.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

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