Metacarpophalangeal length changes in humans during adulthood

A longitudinal study

Edward Harris, Korntip Aksharanugraha, Rolf G. Behrents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Total lengths of the 19 diaphyseal hand bones were measured from standardized radiographs of healthy American whites as young adults (ca. 21 years) and again at ca. 55 years of age. The four hand‐bone rows exhibit distinctive length changes: Distal and middle phalanges continue to increase significantly in length, proximal phalanges constitute a transition zone of little change, and metacarpals uniformly decrease in length. Clear‐cut sex differences are noteworthy: Males change more (lose more in some bone rows, gain more in others) than females. Progressive elongation was greatest in the distal phalanges where apposition around the distal aspect (“tufting”) is not constrained by a joint or epiphysis. Loss of bone length in the metacarpals by subchondral resorption is consistent with documented reductions in activity levels and grip strength with age, as well as diminished joint spaces which alter loading of the joints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-275
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume87
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Fingerprint

adulthood
Longitudinal Studies
longitudinal study
Metacarpal Bones
Joints
Hand Bones
young adult
Bone and Bones
Epiphyses
Hand Strength
Sex Characteristics
Young Adult

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Metacarpophalangeal length changes in humans during adulthood : A longitudinal study. / Harris, Edward; Aksharanugraha, Korntip; Behrents, Rolf G.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 87, No. 3, 01.01.1992, p. 263-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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