Anatomy of the upper extremity in standard radiology


Antoine Micheau , Denis Hoa

Published on

Thursday 07 March 2019





Anatomical parts

Anatomy of the upper extremity in standard radiology

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

Shoulder , Pectoral girdle; Shoulder girdle , Radiographs : 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).


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

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

Elbow , Radiographs : Anterior-posterior view


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

Joint , Cubital region , Radiographs , Anatomy : Lateral view


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


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

Radiographs , 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 - Radiographs - 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 , Radiographs , 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).


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

Radiographs , 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.

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