The human body, the hand has eight carpals. These tiny bones comprise the wrist between the radius and ulna bones of the forearm and the phlanges, or fingers, of the hand. The lunate is one of these eight carpal bones. These carpals are arranged in two rows, and the lunate is located in the row closest to the radius and ulna. The lunate touches four other carpal bones, which are the scaphoid, the capitate, the hamate and the triquetral bones. The name comes the Latin word for moon, and the bone derives this name from its shape. It resembles that of a crescent moon. Because of its location within the wrist, the lunate often the most dislocated of all the carpals. Also, it is the subject of Kienbock's disease, a form of avascular necrosis. In this condition, if blood supply dwindles, the bone's health diminishes due to tissue death. As it a result, fracture is possible. If Kienbock's disease is preset, surgical intervention becomes necessary.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Lunate