Carpometacarpal bossing

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Visible growth caused by carpometacarpal bossing.
Carpal boss VR-3D-Reconstruction

Carpometacarpal bossing or Metacarpal is a small, immovable mass of bone on the back of the wrist. The mass occurs in one of the joints between the carpus and metacarpus of the hand, called the carpometacarpal joints, where a small immovable protuberance[1] occurs when this joint becomes swollen or bossed.

Clinical significance[edit]

The carpometacarpal joint is usually found at the base of the second and third metacarpal bones at the point where they meet the small bones of the wrist.[2] This condition can result in sensitivity in the immediate area and/or an unsightly bulge on the back of the hand. In most cases, the boss does not result in any injury or further problems, but in some cases, the patient may feel pain, aching, or even possibly a slight lack of mobility in the wrist joint.[3] Often, this condition will be mistaken for a ganglion cyst due to its location and external appearance.

A carpometacarpal boss may exist from birth or may be the result of a trauma or injury in the affected area. There are also indications that those with careers involving repetitive movements in the hands and fingers may develop this condition. Typically, this condition will begin to show itself in the 3rd or 4th decade.[citation needed]

Additional images[edit]

Micro-radiography of 8 weeks human embryo hand 
Second metacarpal bone 
Third metacarpal bone 
Carpal boss in plain X-Ray. 
Carpal boss in CT. 


  1. ^ Conway, William F. et al. (1984). "The Carpal Boss: An Overview of Radiographic Evaluation". Radiology 156 (1): 29–31. doi:10.1148/radiology.156.1.3923555. PMID 3923555. Retrieved February 2010. 
  2. ^ Walker, Lorenzo G. "Carpometacarpal Boss". The Hand Center of Ventura County. Retrieved February 2010. 
  3. ^ Kamath, B. Jagannath; Bhardwaj, Praveen. "Carpal Bossing With Trapezium-Trapezoid Fusion". The Internet Journal of Orthopedic Surgery 4 (2). Retrieved February 2010. 

External links[edit]