The joint between the hand and the arm that allows the hand to be bent forward and backward relative to the arm and also to be moved side to side. The wrist contains 8 bones (known collectively as the carpus) arranged in 2 rows, one articulating with the bones of the forearm, and the other connecting to the bones of the palm. Tendons connect the forearm muscles to the fingers and thumb, and arteries and nerves supply the muscles, bones, and skin of the hand and fingers. Wrist injuries may lead to serious disability by limiting hand movement. A common injury in adults is Colles’ fracture, in which the lower end of the radius is fractured and the wrist and hand are displaced backwards. In young children, similar displacement results from a fracture through the epiphysis (growing end) of the radius. A sprain can affect ligaments at the wrist joint, but most wrist sprains are not severe. (See also carpal tunnel syndrome; wrist-drop; tenosynovitis; and osteoarthritis.)


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