The metacarpophalangial joints consist of the convex heads of the metacarpals articulating with the concave bases of the proximal phalanges. These are condyloid joints with two degrees of freedom of movement. The articular surfaces of the metacarpals are larger than those of the phalanges in the sagittal plane leading to poor anteroposterior joint congruence in that plane. The joint congruence is larger in the frontal plane. Not participating as part of the joint, but in the general location of the volar surfaces of MCP joints, there are often sesamoid bones, particularly in the thumb. These probably develop from the rubbing and pressure of the tendons as they pass over these joints as the sesamoid bones are not typically found in children under 12 years of age.
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Carpals | Metacarpals | Phalanges | Arches | Bone and Joint Structure | Help | Hand Kinesiology
Lorie Richards and Janice Loudon, October 1997