The human skeleton is composed of 300 bones at birth and by the time adulthood is reached, some bones have fused together to give a total of 206 bones in the body. The bone mass in the skeleton reaches maximum density around age 30. The human skeleton can be divided into the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton is formed by the vertebral column, the rib cage and the skull. The appendicular skeleton, which is attached to the axial skeleton, is formed by the pectoral girdles, the pelvic girdle and the bones of the upper and lower limbs.
The human skeleton serves six major functions; support, movement, protection, production of blood cells, storage of ions and endocrine regulation.
The intercarpal articulations (articulations of the carpus) can be subdivided into three sets of articulations: Those of the proximal row of carpal bones, those of the distal row of carpal bones, and those of the two rows with each other.
The bones in each carpal row interlock with each other and each row can therefore be considered a single articular body. In the proximal row a limited degree of mobility is possible, but the bones of the distal row are connected to each other and to the metacarpal bones by strong ligaments that make this row and the metacarpus a functional entity.