I see on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_limb that the term "upper extremity" seem to include hands. However, in many hospitals, there is a "Hand & Upper Extremity Service", which would tend to indicate that the term "upper extremity" does not include hands.

Does the term "upper extremity" include hands?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Generally, upper extremities refers to arms (and everything attached to them), while lower extremities are the legs. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that "hand" is separated out because it is often a surgical subspeciality. Hands are complicated. $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ Interestingly, while hands include fingers with a lot of innervation, almost all muscles for hand are located in arm. 2OP: please accept answer if it is satisfactory $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, and the same is written on Farlex Free Dictionary, the upper extremity or superior limb includes:

  • the shoulder girdle
  • the arm
  • the forearm
  • the hand

Again, on this Dartmouth Medical School page, the upper limb bones are described and the article includes the bones of the hand.

So, anatomically speaking, the upper limb includes the hand.


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