The lunate bone

There is actually a bone inside the human body, which is called »lunate bone«. Indeed, it may not belong to the most important of the 206 bones that a grown man carries around with him, but the name alone makes it remarkable. The lunate bone is one of the eight carpal bones, being the bones that connect the hand with the forearm. The lunate bone (lat.: os lunatum) was given his name because of its crescent shape.

It is probable that very few people actually feel this bone, unless it does not function the way it should. Incidentally, there is a specific illness, which can be attributed to the lunate bone,  the Kienbock’s disease – named after its discoverer, the Austrian radiologist Robert Kienböck (1871–1953). It is the necrosis and the breakdown of the lunate bone, which is linked to a partial loss of mobility in the wrist and is also very painful. It is speculated that possible causes are traumatic shakes, which could happen, for example, by using a jackhammer.

The lunate bone is a lovely example of how man used to include the surrounding nature or universe in science, when giving names. Nowadays, the lunate bone would probably be called bone »B137«. This used to be different in the old days. And this is how we can all say today: we’ve got the Moon inside our hands.

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