The radius or radial bone is one of the two large bones of the forearm, the other being the ulna. It extends from the lateralside of the elbow to the thumb side of the wrist and runs parallel to the ulna, which exceeds it in length and size. It is a long bone, prism-shaped and slightly curved longitudinally. The radius articulates with the capitulum of the humerus, the radial notch and the head of the ulna. The corresponding bone in the lower leg is the tibia.
The word radius is Latin for “ray”. In the context of the radius bone, a ray can be thought of rotating around an axis line extending diagonally from center of capitulum to the center of distal ulna. While the ulna is the major contributor to the elbow joint, the radius primarily contributes to the wrist joint.
The radius is named so because the radius (bone) acts like the radius (of a circle). It rotates around the ulna and the far end (where it joins to the bones of the hand), known as the styloid process of the radius, is the distance from the ulna (center of the circle) to the edge of the radius (the circle). The ulna acts as the center point to the circle because when the arm is rotated the ulna does not move.
The ulna or elbow bone (Latin:elbow) is one of the two long bones in the forearm, the other being the radius. It is prismatic in form and runs parallel to the radius, which is shorter and smaller. In anatomical position (i.e. when the arms are down at the sides of the body and the palms of the hands face forward) the ulna is located at the side of the forearm closest to the body (the medial side), the side of the little finger.