Hand series

Dr Yair Glick and Dr Aditya Shetty et al.

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

The series primarily examines the radiocarpal and distal radioulnar joints, the carpals, metacarpals and phalanges.


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


Standard projections
  • PA view
    • demonstrates the metacarpals, phalanges, radius and ulna in the natural anatomical position
    • excellent view to inspect the metacarpals
    • ideal for identifying early signs of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthrosis
  • 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 localize foreign bodies
  • lateral fan view
    • offers a view of the individual middle and distal phalanges, avoiding overlap
  • lateral flexion view
  • ball-catcher view (a.k.a. Nørgaard projection)
    • specialized view used to demonstrate the metacarpophalangeal (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:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: frontal
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  • FIgure 2: oblique
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  • Figure 3: lateral
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  • Figure 4: normal ballcatcher view
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  • Figure 5: annotated hand PA view
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  • Figure 6: annotated hand oblique view
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