Upper Limbs

In human anatomy, the upper limb (also upper extremity) refers to what in common English is known as the arm, that is, the region of the shoulder to the fingertips. It includes the entire limb, and thus, is not synonymous with the term upper arm.

General structures[]

The upper limb includes the following structures:

  • Shoulder
  • Arm (proper) - in anatomy, the region between the shoulder and the elbow
  • Elbow
  • Forearm
  • Wrist
  • Hand

Note that anatomists use the term arm to denote only the region between the shoulder and the elbow. This is in contrast to the proper English definition. Anatomists also use the term leg to refer to the region between the knee and the ankle. This, however, is the proper and traditional usage of the word, even though popular modern usage tends to include the thigh and foot in the definition.


The following bones are considered to be part of the upper limb:

  • Clavicle - the only bone that directly articulates with the trunk
  • Scapula
  • Humerus
  • Radius
  • Ulna
  • Carpal bones
  • Metacarpals
  • Phalanges