Phalanx bones

The name Phalanx (plural phalanges) is commonly given to the bones that form fingers and toes. In primates such as humans and monkeys, the thumb and big toe have two phalanges, while the other fingers and toes consist of three. Phalanges are classified as long bones.

The phalanges do not really have individual names but are named after the digit, and their distance from the body.
* Distal phalanges are at the tips of the fingers and toes.
* Proximal phalanges are closest to the hand (or foot) and articulate with the metacarpals of the hand, or metatarsals of the foot.
* "Middle" or Intermediate phalanges are between the distal and proximal. The thumb and big toe do not have middle phalanges.

The term phalanx or phalanges refers to an ancient Greek army formation in which soldiers stand side by side, several rows deep, like an arrangement of fingers or toes.

The number of phalanges in animals is often expressed as a phalangeal formula, that indicates the numbers of phalanges in digits (beginning from medial), e.g. human has the formula 2-3-3-3-3, a deer has the formula 3-3 and most lizards have the formula 2-3-4-5-4.


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* [ Medical Dictionary]

ee also

* Phalanges of the foot
* Phalanges of the hand

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Phalanx — (From Ancient Greek polytonic| ( finger )) can have many meanings, as the original Greek also did: The Greek meaning was one of a military formation, it consisted of four sides resembling a rectangle. For the most part this strategy worked but… …   Wikipedia

  • Phalanx — Pha lanx, n.; pl. {Phalanxes}, L. {Phalanges}. [L., from Gr. ?.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) A body of heavy armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep. There were several different arrangements, the phalanx varying in depth from four to twenty… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • phalanx — [fā′laŋks΄, fal′aŋks΄] n. pl. phalanxes; also, and for PHALANX 5 always, phalanges [fə lan′jēz΄] [L < Gr, line of battle, bone between fingers, orig., log < IE base * bhel , log > BALK] 1. an ancient military formation of infantry in… …   English World dictionary

  • Phalanx — Anatomically, any one of the bones in the fingers or toes. (The plural of phalanx is phalanges.) There are 3 phalanges (the proximal, middle, and proximal phalanx) in most of the fingers and toes. However, the thumb and large toe have only two… …   Medical dictionary

  • phalanx — /fay langks, fal angks/, n., pl. phalanxes or, for 7, phalanges /feuh lan jeez/, v. n. 1. (in ancient Greece) a group of heavily armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep, with shields joined and long spears overlapping. 2. any body …   Universalium

  • phalanx proximalis digitorum manus — [TA] proximal phalanx of fingers: any one of the five bones of the fingers that articulate with the metacarpal bones and, except in the thumb, with the phalanx media; called also p. prima digitorum manus …   Medical dictionary

  • phalanx proximalis digitorum pedis — [TA] proximal phalanx of toes: any one of the five bones of the toes that articulate with the metatarsal bones and, except in the great toe, with the phalanx media; called also p. prima digitorum pedis …   Medical dictionary

  • phalanx — noun (plural phalanxes or phalanges) Etymology: Latin phalang , phalanx, from Greek, battle line, digital bone, literally, log more at balk Date: 1553 1. a body of heavily armed infantry in ancient Greece formed in close deep ranks and files;… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • phalanx — noun a) a large group of people, animals or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common purpose. There, the Paisleyites were being held back by another phalanx of soldiers and policemen. b) One of the bones of the… …   Wiktionary

  • phalanx distalis digitorum manus — [TA] distal phalanx of fingers: any one of the five terminal bones of the fingers, articulating, except in the thumb, with the phalanx media; called also p. tertia digitorum manus …   Medical dictionary

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