Although the shoulder, elbow, and wrist serve to position the hand, it is only the hand that is capable of producing a remarkable level of dexterity and precision.
The hand accounts for about 90% of upper limb function.1
The thumb, which is involved in 40% to 50% of hand function, is the most functionally important of the digits.1
The index finger, involved in about 20% of hand function, is the second most important, and the ring finger the least important.
The middle finger, which accounts for about 20% of all hand function, is the strongest finger, and is important for both precision and power functions.1
An understanding of the forearm, wrist, and hand requires an intimate knowledge of the respective bones, joints, soft tissues, and nerves of the hand and wrist, detailing both their individual and collective functions.
The open-packed, close-packed, and capsular patterns of the wrist and hand are outlined in Table 7-1.
Proper diagnosis and management of wrist and hand injuries are vital to maintaining proper function of the hand and preventing permanent disability.