The Crazy Carpals: How to Remember Them All??

By Molly Lewis

So many wrist bones, so little time- how to remember them all? Try these mnemonics!

There are about a million mnemonics out there for the bones of your wrist (AKA carpals), some with higher moral standards than others🙂. Here are two to get you started:

So Long To Pinky, Here Comes The Thumb

The Crazy CarpalsScaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Hamate, Capitate, Trapezoid, Trapezium

  • This mnemonic starts with the most lateral bone in the first/ proximal row of carpals, and continues in a circle:

o   through the 1st row from lateral to medial, and then through the 2nd row from medial to lateral

  • This mnemonic also helps you remember the location of the bones:

o   “Pinky” for Pisiform- the Pisiform is by the pinky!

o   “Thumb” for Trapezium- the Trapezium is by the thumb!

Bonus mnemonic:

  • To keep the “T”s straight, think:

o   Triquetrum doesn’t have a bone with a similar name (vs trapezoid and trapezium), so it doesn’t have another T in its row.

o   trapeziuM is by the thuMb, so trapezoid isn’t right next to the thumb!


Another excellent option comes courtesy of a blog follower: Shreejakb. Thanks for the suggestion!


“She Looks Too Pretty, Try To Catch Her”

Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum (AKA triquetral), Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate

The major difference between this mnemonic and the one above is the order of the bones.

  • Through the proximal row from lateral to medial, then through the distal row from lateral to medial


Bonus mnemonic:

  • How to remember that the carpal bones are in the hands, while the tarsal bones are in the feet?

“drive a CAR with your CARpals, and walk on TAR with your TARsals”


I hope you enjoy these mnemonics, and they help you on your anatomy tests! (or for the rest of your life- go ortho!).

If you have another carpal bone mnemonic to share, post it below!




Categories: Mnemonics

3 replies »

  1. I’ve always gone with the pneumonic, “Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can’t Handle.”🙂

    Got to keep things fun as I traverse this mountain.


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