The capitate is a carpal bone located in the most central portion of the wrist. The bones of the wrist are called carpals and the bones of the hand are called metacarpals. The capitate is the largest of the carpal bones. It lies between the trapezoid and hamate, which are also carpal bones. It articulates with the third metacarpal, and a small angle helps it to also junction with the fourth metacarpal. It is convex to work with the scaphoid and lunate, which have concave surfaces. The capitate attaches to various other carpal bones and touches many of the metacarpal bones. Due to its protected central position in the wrist, fractures to the capitate are rare. By comparison, other carpals such as the lunate and hamate are far more likely to fracture if the wrist is injured.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Capitate

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