Carpal bones – Mnemonic

There are certain well-known sentences used as a mnemonic to remember the names and arrangement of the 8 carpal bones in 2 rows.

  1. She Looks Too Pretty, Try To Catch Her
  2. Some Lovers Try Positions That They Cannot Handle
carpal bones mnemonic
LadyofHats / Public domain [edited by Epomedicine]

So using this mnemonic, we will learn the arrangement of the carpal bones:

a. Proximal row (radial to ulnar):

  • Scaphoid (boat-shaped): most commonly fractured carpal bone
  • Lunate (moon-shaped)
  • Triquetral (pyramid-shaped)
  • Pisiform (pea-shaped): smallest carpal bone (also classified as sesamoid)

b. Distal row (radial to ulnar):

  • Trapezium (Irregular quadrilateral with one side parallel)
  • Trapezoid (Irregular quadrilateral with no sides parallel): smallest carpal bone in distal row
  • Capitate (head-shaped): largest carpal bone
  • Hamate (having hook/hamulus)

The problem with this mnemonic is the two “T”s in distal row both starting from”Trapez-“.

This can be remembered using another simple trick:

  1. Trapez-ium: Towards thumb
  2. Trapez-oid: On it’s side or Inside


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