Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Lunate Bone
Skeletal System

Lunate Bone

Os lunatum

Read more

Quick Facts

Location: Hand.

Bone Type: Short bone.

Key Features: Palmar and dorsal surfaces, and radial, scaphoid, capitate, and triquetrum articular facets.

Articulates With: Radius, triquetrum, hamate, capitate, and scaphoid bones.

Arterial Supply: Dorsal carpal branch of radial and ulnar arteries.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free
Related parts of the anatomy

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The lunate bone (semilunar bone) is one of the eight carpal bones of the hand. It’s semilunar-shaped and found in the proximal row of carpal bones. It’s classified as a short bone and includes the following bony features:

- surfaces: proximal, distal, palmar, and dorsal surfaces;

- landmarks: radial, scaphoid, capitate, hamate, and triquetrum articular facets.

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

The lunate bone is located:

- proximal to the capitate and hamate bones;

- distal to the radius;

- medial to the scaphoid bone;

- lateral to the triquetrum bone.

It articulates with the:

- radius at the radiolunate joint, contributing to the formation of the radiocarpal (wrist) joint;

- triquetrum bone at the lunotriquetral joint;

- hamate bone at the lunohamate joint;

- capitate bone at the lunocapitate joint;

- scaphoid bone at the scapholunate joint.


Ossification of the lunate bone occurs at one ossification center, which appears within the fourth to fifth years (Standring, 2016). Complete ossification occurs during adolescence.


In some individuals:

- carpal fusion, or coalition, between the lunate and triquetrum bones may be present, forming the os lunatotriquetrum;

- several accessory bones may be associated with the lunate bone (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).

Surface Anatomy

With regard to surface anatomy, the dorsal surface of lunate bone can be palpated on the dorsal aspect of the wrist, proximal to the capitate bone, during flexion of the wrist joint.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Dislocation of lunate bone (most commonly dislocated carpal bone)

- Perilunate dislocation

- Kienböck’s disease

- Fracture of lunate bone


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

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Lunate Bone

ScienceDirect image

The lunate bone is part of the proximal carpal row and is well protected within the lunate fossa on the distal radial articular surface.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy