Carpals are a group of eight small bones that form the wrist joint and are collectively known as the carpus. The carpal bones are arranged in two rows – the proximal and distal – with four bones in each row. The proximal row is located closer to the forearm, while the distal row is closer to the hand.
Each carpal bone has a distinct shape, size, and function. The bones of the proximal row include the scaphoid, lunate, triquetral, and pisiform, while the bones of the distal row include the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate. The carpals work together with the radius and ulna bones of the forearm and the metacarpals of the hand to allow for wrist movement.
Injuries to the carpals can occur due to repetitive motions, falls, or trauma. These injuries can range from a simple sprain to a fracture, dislocation, or ligament tear. Treatment for carpal injuries can include rest, immobilization, physical therapy, or surgical intervention depending on the severity of the injury. Proper ergonomics and exercises can help prevent carpal injuries in individuals who perform repetitive tasks such as typing or manual labor.