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e-Anatomy 5 Beta

Anatomy of the upper extremity in standard radiology

Antoine Micheau, Denis Hoa

Published on Thursday 10 September 2009

SECTION: Musculoskeletal anatomy (upper and lower extremities)

Images and anatomical references

This radioanatomy module on the upper limb presents 16 radiographic images with 112 structures identified in the legends.


This educational tool is design specifically for radiologists, electroradiology technician students, emergency medicine specialists, orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists, but it is also suitable as a daily aid or educational tool for all practitioners, doctors or students involved in pathology of the upper limb (radial fracture, shoulder pathology, inflammatory elbow pathologies, tendinitis or tenosynovitis of the wrist and hand).


Plain X-Rays of the upper limb


The first X-Ray image is centred on the pectoral girdle seen from the front, allowing us to study the clavicles, sternum and sternoclavicular joints.

The following image shows the clavicle in an AP view, with its sternal and acromial extremities, conoid tubercle and the body of the clavicle.

The following images are plain X-Rays of the shoulder (AP view and Y view), allowing us to study the radioanatomy of the glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints, the neck and head of the humerus, the scapula and glenoid fossa, the acromion…

Shoulder - Pectoral girdle; Shoulder girdle - Radiography - Human anatomy : Glenohumeral joint; Shoulder joint, Acromion, Clavicle, Scapula, Glenoid cavity, Lesser tubercle, Coracoid process

Shoulder - Pectoral girdle; Shoulder girdle - Radiography : Anterior view


Frontal and profile views of the arm show all of the bony structures of the humerus (head, surgical and anatomical necks, body of the humerus, olecranon fossa).


Radiography - Arm - Humerus : Shaft of humerus; Body of humerus, Surgical neck, Medial supraepicondylar ridge, Medial epicondyle, Greater tubercle, Anatomical neck

Radiography - Arm - Humerus : Anterior view


 The radioanatomy of the elbow is studied via an AP X-Ray image and one in profile, showing the medial and lateral epicondyles, the olecranon, the head and neck of the radios, the radial and olecranon fossae, the humeral trochlea and allow of the anatomical structures composing the humeroulnar joint, humeroradial joint and proximal radioulnar joint.


Elbow - Radiography (Anterior-posterior view) : Lateral epicondyle, Trochlea, Coronoid process, Olecranon, Elbow joint,  Humeroulnar joint,  Humeroradial joint,  Proximal radioulnar joint

Elbow - Radiography : Anterior-posterior view


Joint - Cubital region - Radiography - Anatomy : Humeroulnar joint,  Humeroradial joint,  Proximal radioulnar joint, Olecranon, Elbow, Olecranon fossa, Coronoid fossa, Radial fossa, Coronoid process

Joint - Cubital region - Radiography - Anatomy : Lateral view


Frontal and side views of the forearm show the radiological bony structures of the radius and ulna.


Radiography - Forearm : Radius, Ulna, Capitulum, Tuberosity of ulna, Radial tuberosity, Pronator tuberosity, Interosseous border

Radiography - Forearm : Anterior-posterior view


Plain frontal and side-view X-Rays of the wrist show the lower extremities of the radius and ulna, the radiocarpal joint, the carpal bones (scaphoid, capitate, trapezium, trapezoid, hamate, lunate, pisiform and triquetral) and the carpometacarpal joints.


Anatomy atlas - Radiography - Wrist  : Scaphoid,  Tubercle,  Lunate,  Triquetrum,  Pisiform,  Trapezium,  Tubercle,  Trapezoid,  Capitate,  Hamate, Distal radioulnar joint, Wrist joint, Carpal joints; Intercarpal joints, Midcarpal joint, Pisiform joint, Carpometacarpal joints

Anatomy atlas - Radiography - Wrist : Anterior-posterior view


2 X-Ray images of the hand (AP and oblique views) show the carpal bones, the bones of the hand (metacarpals) and fingers (phalanges).


Radiography - Hand - Digiti manus : Metacarpals [I -V],  Phalanges,  Proximal phalanx,  Middle phalanx,  Distal phalanx,  Sesamoid bones, Carpometacarpal joints,  Intermetacarpal joints,  Metacarpophalangeal joints,  Interphalangeal joints of hand

Radiography - Hand - Digiti manus : Oblique view


Lastly, frontal and side-views of the fingers show their bony structures and joints: proximal, middle and distal phalanges, metacarpophalangeal joints, interphalangeal joints, base, body, head and tuberosity of each phalanx.


Visualisation of anatomical structures of the upper limb using plain X-Rays


The “anatomical structures” menu allows you to display two types of legend: bones and joints.
The “illustrations” menu allows you to directly access radiological images of the pectoral girdle, shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.
All of the structures are detailed in the legends based on Terminologia Anatomica. The anatomical legends for the images of the upper limb are available in Latin (terminologia anatomica), French, English, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

Anatomical parts

  • Acromial angle - Angulus acromii
  • Acromial end - Extremitas acromialis
  • Acromioclavicular joint - Articulatio acromioclavicularis
  • Acromion - Acromion
  • Anatomical neck - Collum anatomicum
  • Anatomical structures - Anatomical parts
  • Anterior border - Margo anterior
  • Anterior-posterior view - Anterior-posterior view
  • Arm - Brachium
  • Articular circumference - Circumferentia articularis
  • Articular facet - Fovea articularis
  • Back to image index - Back to image index
  • Base - Basis ossis metacarpi
  • Base of phalanx - Basis phalangis
  • Bones of upper limb - Ossa membri superioris
  • Capitate - Os capitatum
  • Capitulum - Capitulum humeri
  • Carpal articular surface - Facies articularis carpalis
  • Carpal joints; Intercarpal joints - Articulationes carpi; Articulationes intercarpales
  • Carpometacarpal joint of thumb - Articulatio carpometacarpalis pollicis
  • Carpometacarpal joints - Articulationes carpometacarpales
  • Clavicle - Clavicula
  • Conoid tubercle - Tuberculum conoideum
  • Coracoid process - Processus coracoideus
  • Coronoid fossa - Fossa coronoidea
  • Coronoid process - Processus coronoideus
  • Deltoid tuberosity - Tuberositas deltoidea
  • Distal phalanx - Phalanx distalis
  • Distal radioulnar joint - Articulatio radioulnaris distalis
  • Elbow - Cubitus
  • Fingers including thumb - Digiti manus
  • First rib [I] - Costa prima [I]
  • Forearm - Antebrachium
  • Glenohumeral joint; Shoulder joint - Articulatio humeri; Articulatio glenohumeralis
  • Glenoid cavity - Cavitas glenoidalis
  • Greater tubercle - Tuberculum majus
  • Hamate - Os hamatum
  • Hand - Manus
  • Head - Caput humeri
  • Head - Caput ossis metacarpi
  • Head - Caput radii
  • Head - Caput ulnae
  • Head of phalanx - Caput phalangis
  • Hook of hamate - Hamulus ossis hamati
  • Humeroradial joint - Articulatio humeroradialis
  • Humeroulnar joint - Articulatio humeroulnaris
  • Humerus - Humerus
  • Infraglenoid tubercle - Tuberculum infraglenoidale
  • Infraspinous fossa - Fossa infraspinata
  • Intermetacarpal joints - Articulationes intermetacarpales
  • Interosseous border - Margo interosseus
  • Interosseous metacarpal spaces - Spatia interossea metacarpi
  • Interphalangeal joints of hand - Articulationes interphalangeae manus
  • Intertubercular sulcus; Bicipital groove - Sulcus intertubercularis
  • Joints of free upper limb - Juncturae membri superioris liberi
  • Lateral border - Margo lateralis
  • Lateral epicondyle - Epicondylus lateralis
  • Lateral supraepicondylar ridge - Crista supraepicondylaris lateralis
  • Lateral view - Lateral view
  • Lesser tubercle - Tuberculum minus
  • Lunate - Os lunatum
  • Medial border - Margo medialis
  • Medial epicondyle - Epicondylus medialis
  • Medial supraepicondylar ridge - Crista supraepicondylaris medialis
  • Metacarpals [I -V] - Ossa metacarpi [I -V]
  • Metacarpophalangeal joints - Articulationes metacarpophalangeae
  • Midcarpal joint - Articulatio mediocarpalis
  • Middle phalanx - Phalanx media
  • Neck - Collum radii
  • Neck of scapula - Collum scapulae
  • Oblique view - Oblique view
  • Olecranon - Olecranon
  • Olecranon fossa - Fossa olecrani
  • Pectoral girdle; Shoulder girdle - Cingulum pectorale; Cingulum membri superioris
  • Pisiform - Os pisiforme
  • Pronator tuberosity - Tuberositas pronatoria
  • Proximal phalanx - Phalanx proximalis
  • Proximal radioulnar joint - Articulatio radioulnaris proximalis
  • Radial fossa - Fossa radialis
  • Radial notch - Incisura radialis
  • Radial styloid process - Processus styloideus radii
  • Radial tuberosity - Tuberositas radii
  • Radiography - Radiography
  • Radius - Radius
  • Ribs [I-XII] - Costae [I-XII]
  • Scaphoid - Os scaphoideum
  • Scapula - Scapula
  • Second rib [II] - Costa secunda [II]
  • Shaft of clavicle; Body of clavicle - Corpus claviculae
  • Shaft of humerus; Body of humerus - Corpus humeri
  • Shaft of phalanx; Body of phalanx - Corpus phalangis
  • Shaft; Body - Corpus ossis metacarpi
  • Shaft; Body - Corpus radii
  • Shaft; Body - Corpus ulnae
  • Shoulder - Cingulum pectorale
  • Sternal end - Extremitas sternalis
  • Sternoclavicular joint - Articulatio sternoclavicularis
  • Sternum - Sternum
  • Superior border - Margo superior
  • Supraglenoid tubercle - Tuberculum supraglenoidale
  • Supraspinous fossa - Fossa supraspinata
  • Surgical neck - Collum chirurgicum
  • Trapezium - Os trapezium
  • Trapezoid - Os trapezoideum
  • Triquetrum - Os triquetrum
  • Trochlea - Trochlea humeri
  • Trochlea of phalanx - Trochlea phalangis
  • Tubercle - Tuberculum ossis scaphoidei
  • Tubercle - Tuberculum ossis trapezii
  • Tuberosity of distal phalanx - Tuberositas phalangis distalis
  • Tuberosity of ulna - Tuberositas ulnae
  • Ulna - Ulna
  • Ulnar styloid process - Processus styloideus ulnae
  • Wrist - Carpus
  • Wrist joint - Articulatio radiocarpalis

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