Little metacarpal

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The little metacarpal (fifth metacarpal) is one of the metacarpal bones, found within the substance of the hand at the base of the little finger. It articulates with the hamate proximally, the ring metacarpal laterally, and with the proximal phalanx of the little finger distally.


Surface Anatomy

Little metacarpal
Little metacarpal.gif
The little metacarpal (4th metacarpal refers to the ring metacarpal)
System: Skeletal system
Arterial supply:
Venous drainage:
Lymphatic drainage:
Vertebral levels:
Search for Little metacarpal in Gray's.

The little metacarpal can be felt running down from the knuckle of the little finger on the dorsum of the hand. It is also palpable laterally. The metacarpal head forms much of the substance of the knuckle when the finger is flexed.


The little metacarpal is similar in structure to the other metacarpals, possessing a head, shaft and base. The proximal surface of the base is different in that the medial aspect is non-articular and bears a prominent tubercle, pointing proximally. The lateral surface of the base bears a facet for articulation with hamate, whilst a lateral strip articulates with the ring metacarpal. The dorsal surface is triangular almost to the base, whilst the lateral surface is not as curved as the other metacarpals and only inclines dorsally at its proximal end. This lateral surface is divided by a ridge separating palmar and dorsal interossei.


In addition, dorsal, palmar and interosseous ligaments connect the little metacarpal to the other metacarpals.


Direct Relations

The extensor and flexor tendons of the little finger are located on the dorsal and palmar aspects of the metacarpal, respectively.

Clinical Relevance