metacarpus(redirected from metacarpi)
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the part of the superior (anterior) pentadactyl extremity of vertebrates that is located between the carpus and the distal phalanges of the fingers. In man, the metacarpus is made up of five metacarpal bones, which are attached to the muscles of the palm. The hypothenal muscles of the thumb and the little finger are the largest muscles of the palm. The tendons of the antebrachial muscles, which set the fingers in motion, pass along the metacarpal bones; blood vessels and motor and sensory nerves are also located here. On the palm side, the metacarpal skin is thick and hairless and the fold markings are individuated. On the dorsal side, the skin is thinner and often covered with short hairs. Tendovaginitis develops with inflammatory diseases of the sheaths of the tendons. Fractures of the metacarpal bones require apposition and immobilization for a period up to 1—1½ months.