Hand series

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Aditya Shetty et al.

The hand series is comprised of a posteroanterior and oblique, projection although additional radiographs can be taken for specific indications.

The series primarily examines the metacarpals, hamate, phalanges along with the carpal bones that are consisting of the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, radiocarpal and distal radiocarpal joint along with the distal radius and ulna.


Hand x-rays are indicated for a variety of settings including:


Standard projections
  • PA view
    • demonstrates the metacarpals, phalanges, radius and the ulna in the natural anatomical position
    • excellent view to inspect shafts of the metacarpals
    • ideal for identifying early signs of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
  • oblique view
    • external oblique projection of the hand
Additional projections
  • hand lateral view
    • projection 90° to the PA view demonstrates multiple carpal bones overlapping often used to determine fracture displacement
    • used to localise foreign bodies
  • ball-catcher view (a.k.a. Nørgaard projection)
    • specialised view used to demonstrate the MCP joints often requested in the context of rheumatoid arthritis 
Radiographic views
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Article information

rID: 29804
Section: Radiography
Tag: shetty
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Cases and figures

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    Figure 2: frontal
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    FIgure 3: oblique
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    Figure 4: lateral
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    Figure 5: normal ballcatcher view
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    Figure 6: annotated hand PA view
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    Figure 7: annotated hand oblique view
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