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A Cartesian co-ordinate system for representing the second to fifth metacarpals in the human handPurpose The use of hand radiographs has both clinical and anthropometric applications. However, a method for converting standard bony points within the metacarpus to Cartesian co-ordinates does not exist. Methods A simple method for converting standard bony points of the second to fifth metacarpals to Cartesian co-ordinates is described for the first time. Results Using a small set of measurements and treating these with equations of known voracity, this method is accurate and allows the metacarpus to be interro¬gated via a much wider range of geometrical techniques than has so far been available. Conclusions This method allows naked-eye assessments to be supported or re¬placed by metrical evaluations. It is likely to have both clinical and anthropometric uses.