Carpal boss

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 02 Mar 2021

The carpal boss is a hypertrophied bony protuberance on the dorsal surfaces of the base of the second or third metacarpals, near the capitate and trapezium. It may be bilateral. It can be symptomatic in some instances 5


The condition may represent one or more of:

Pain may be the result of a ganglion, inflamed bursa or extensor tendon slipping over the bony prominence.

Radiographic features

The radiographic appearance of a carpal boss is characteristic, however optimal visualization of the boss may be difficult to obtain due to superimposed bony structures. 

CT may show degenerative disease at a pseudoarthrosis, and MRI may show edema related to abnormal motion.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: ultrasound
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  • Case 2: (bilateral
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: x-ray
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  • Case 4: CT
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  • Case 5
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