Your Hamate Bone: It's Not Just A Pretty Face

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

First, The Disclaimer:

As before, this stands: If an orthopaedic surgeon or anyone with greater knowledge of the subject reads this, please weigh in with corrections and embellishments. If you must sue me for infringing your copyright, well you'll get nothing because that's what I have. As ever, a simple cease and desist will be sufficient to get me to stop stepping on your feet.

Now, on to the bone we have to pick...

Anthony Alford broke his hamate bone in his hand. Just when he looks like he might start hitting in The Bigs, he's on the DL. So, what's a hamate bone and how does one break it? Here it is:

250px-Hamate_bone__28left_hand_29_01_palmar_view.0.pngThat image is of the palm side of the hand and, as you can see, the hamate bone is at the base of the palm. That bone is actually shaped like a hook. From the side it looks like this:

220113100906Hook_20of_20Hamate.0.jpgJust a wee bone in your palm with a little sticky-out bit that curves over tendons that go to your last two fingers. If you place your hand palm up on a table, it's rounding out the pinky-side portion of the hand next to heel of your hand to create a cup of your palm.


right thur

The hamate's hook is the bit that sticks up enough to round out that portion of the hand. And how does one break it? Well, you and I might break that bad boy by falling and using our palms to break our fall. Alford didn't fall, though. Not in any meaningful way. He probably broke his swinging a bat. It seems that baseball players are particularly prone to breaking their hamate bone because of the knob on the end of the bat. They do things like this:

Hamate-Injury-msdlatinamericacom.0.gifWhere the knob of the bat digs right into the hamate bone. Of course this has long been recognized as a problem, hence there are bat handles that are shaped like axe handles:


The image on our left clearly shows how that bat handle can dig in. On the right we see an axe-handle style bat. Not bad, eh? I don't know what Young Master Alford was swinging, but I hope it's something a bit more protective henceforth.

Anyhow, it's going to be about 5-6 weeks before that lot heals up. Bummer.

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