6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Age from birth (years)

Figure 8.27 Ratio of middle finger to total hand, both sexes, birth to 16 years. From Feingold and Bossert (1974), by permission.

Palm Width

Definition Width of the palm of the hand.

Landmarks Measure from the edge of the hand on one side, across the palm to the edge of the hand on the other side, at the level of the metacarpophalangeal joints, with the fingers parallel and extended (Fig 8.28)

Instruments Tape-measure, calipers, or clear ruler.

Position The wrist is in a neutral position with the fingers fully extended. The measurement can be taken on either side of the hand but preferably is taken across the palm.

Alternative Draw a line around the hand and measure between the markings at the level of the metacarpophalangeal joints.

Remarks Palm widths are shown separately for males and females in Fig 8.29 and 8.30. In a hyperextensible hand, care must be taken not to squash the hand excessively, since this can alter the measurement.

The ratio of hand length to hand width changes considerably during intrauterine life. The hand form becomes relatively thinner and longer by the end of intrauterine life. This tendency continues until about 5 years of age. From then on hand length and width increase relatively proportionately (Fig. 8.31).

Figure 8.28 Measuring palm width.

Figure 8.29 (a) Palm width, males, birth to four years. From Snyder et al. (1975), and Malina et al. (1973), by permission. (b) Palm width, males, 4 to 16 years. From Snyder et al. (1975), and Malina et al. (1973), by permission.



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