The scaphoid bone is the largest bone of the proximal row, and has received its name (navicular) from its fancied resemblance to a boat.

It is situated at the radial side of the carpus, its long axis being from above downward, lateralward, and forward. The superior surface is convex, smooth, of triangular shape, and articulates with the lower end of the radius. The inferior surface, directed downward, lateralward, and backward, is also smooth, convex, and triangular, and is divided by a slight ridge into two parts, the lateral articulating with the trapezium, the medial with the trapezoid. On the dorsal surface is a narrow, rough groove, which runs the entire length of the bone, and serves for the attachment of ligaments. The volar surface is concave above, and elevated at its lower and lateral part into a rounded projection, the tubercle, which is directed forwardand gives attachment to the transverse carpal ligament and sometimes origin to a few fibers of the Abductor pollicis brevis. The lateral surface is rough and narrow, and gives attachment to the radial collateral ligament of the wrist. The medial surface presents two articular facets; of these, the superior or smaller is flattened of semilunar form, and articulates with the lunate bone; the inferior or larger is concave, forming with the lunate a concavity for the head of the capitate bone.

The scaphoid articulates with five bones: the radius proximally, trapezium and trapezoids distally, and capitate and lunate medially.

This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from


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