Hand - Lateral (Fan)

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Radiographic Positioning

Other related pages of interest

Name of projection Hand - Lateral
Area Covered Hand, wrist and 2.5cm of distal forearm
Pathology shownDisplacement of fractures, location of foreign bodies.
Radiographic AnatomyHand Radiographic Anatomy
IR Size & Orientation 18 x 24cm
Film / Screen Combination Detail
(CR and DR as recommended by manufacturer)
Bucky / Grid No
Exposure 54 kVp
3.2 mAs
FFD / SID 100cm
Central Ray Directed to the 2nd metacarpophalangeal joint
Perpendicular to the IR
Collimation Centre: 2nd metacarpophalangeal joint
Shutter A: Distal phalanges to 2.5cm of distal radius and ulna
Shutter B: To include soft tissues
Markers Distal and Lateral
Marker orientation AP
Shielding Gonadal (check your department's policy guidelines)
RespirationNot applicable
  • Patient seated at end of table
  • Elbow flexed at 90°
  • Hand and forearm resting on table
  • Rotate hand and wrist into lateral position with thumb on up side
    • For the "Fan" lateral, digits are spread out
      • a step block may be used


The hand is in the "Fan lateral" lateral position, shown by
  • 2nd through to 5th digits are separated with little superimposition of bony and soft tissue structures
  • 2nd through to 5th metacarpals are superimposed
  • Thumb has no superimposition
  • Thumb position varies from PA to slightly oblique
  • The interphalangeal joints are open
  • Phalanges are not foreshortened
(Note: the wrist is not necessarily lateral when the hand is. In a lateral wrist the radius and ulna are superimposed)

Area Covered
  • Phalanges, metacarpals, carpals and 2.5cm of distal radius and ulna
  • Include the distal phalanges to the distal forearm and soft tissue
  • Bony trabecular patterns and cortical outlines are sharply defined
  • Soft tissues are visualised
Special Notes