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Hand and Wrist Anatomy

Hyaline Cartilage

The most prevalent of the types of cartilage in the body, hyaline cartilage found throughout the body, helps make up the embryonic skeleton. In adults, hyaline cartilage primarily comprises the ends of bones and is incredibly resilient. The fluid found within the cartilage makes the body as flexible and powerful as it has become.
Hand and Wrist Anatomy Hyaline Cartilage

The "Connection"

To better understand the role of cartilage of all types, it’s important to look at the connection between bones and cartilage, and how their unique differences affect our bodies. Both cartilage and bone are connective tissues and are well able to bear the weight of the human body. The balance comes in the differences between bones and cartilage – where bones are solid and inflexible, cartilage is very stiff yet fluid. Bones are rich in blood vessels and are very adept at self-repair, cartilage has almost no blood vessels and isn’t able to self-heal very well.

The unique structure and fluidity of cartilage, ideally situated at the joints, especially within the hands and wrists, gives us an inordinate amount of flexibility and strength, part of what helps define us as human. Our ability to grasp objects and to manually manipulate our environment is what sets us apart from other mammals on this planet, coupled with high intelligence, our anatomical dexterity has put us at the top of the food chain.

The unique and complex anatomy of the hand and wrist, a labyrinth of muscle fibers, tendons, bones, cartilage, and joints – all working in harmony to let us complete a simple task with ease, like pouring a drink, throwing a baseball, or type a sentence. The intricate connections in our hands and wrists allow us to perform the everyday tasks we don’t even think about. The cartilage helps to add structure to this delicate area of the body and helps take some of the sting out of injuries that commonly affect these areas.

With the numerous small bones and fragile ligaments in the hand and wrist, this area of the body is most prone to injury, either from a direct trauma or from chronic, repetitive motion. Either of the injuries can have a dramatic effect on the wrist and hand anatomy, but as these areas are blood rich and quite fluid, they heal remarkably fast, and usually the person suffering from the injury regains full motion of the injured hand or wrist. The mysteries of the human body are many, but the elegant strength of our physical body is no less enchanting.
 


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Hyaline Cartilage

As with all the synovial joints in the body, the carpal, metacarpal and phalanges are covered with hyaline cartilage. This material cushions and provides a smooth surface which permits movement with minimal friction.

hyaline cartilage, hand anatomy, wrist anatomy