Purpose. To study the morphological and topographic anatomy of nutrient foramina and to determine the foraminal index of metacarpal bones. Materials and Methods: The study consisted of 438 unpaired, human metacarpal bones of unknown age and sex. Nutrient foramina in each of the bones were grossly identified in relation to their number and location. The foraminal index was calculated by applying the Hughes formula. A digital vernier caliper was used to perform the measurements. Results: Among our specimens, 93.1% of metacarpals had single foramen, 2% had double foramina, 0.3% of the bones had triple foramina and in 4.6% of cases the foramen was absent. The mean foraminal indexes of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th metacarpal were 60.1, 53, 43.1, 43.7 and 45.9 respectively. Conclusion: It was observed that the morphology and topography of nutrient foramina vary among different metacarpals. In 1st and 2nd metacarpals, foramina were more common at the medial surface and in other metacarpals, mostly seen on the lateral surface. The knowledge about these foramina is important in certain surgical procedures to preserve the circulation. This data is important to the plastic surgeon for microvascular bone transfer surgeries.
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