Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 10, P1120-1126, October 2007

The vascular anatomy of the lumbrical muscles in the hand

Published:January 27, 2007DOI:


      The lumbrical muscles are located in the midpalm, dorsal to the palmar aponeurosis. The main function of these muscles is an indirect contribution to interphalangeal joint extension by decreasing the flexor effect of the flexor digitorum profundus muscle. Due to their minor biomechanical functions and suitable constructions, these muscles have been preferred in reconstructive surgery as local transposition flaps or pedicled flaps. Despite the surgical and clinical importance, vascular anatomical studies of these muscles are not well represented in the current literature.
      This study was performed in the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine of the Ege University. Thirty-four cadaver hands, injected with red-coloured latex were used, and we aimed to describe the morphometry and vascular anatomy of the lumbrical muscles. We measured the length and width of the muscles, after removing their epimisium, and the diameter and length of the arteries to the muscles.
      The outcomes of our study determined that the length and width of the lumbrical muscles were reduced significantly from radial towards ulnar sides. The lumbrical muscles were supplied from both their palmar and dorsal surfaces by both superficial and deep palmar arches and/or their branches. We also described the level of entry of the dominant arteries for each lumbrical muscle and measured the size of the vessels and muscles to guide some surgical approaches.
      This anatomical study could guide for some surgical approaches and reduce the deficiency about the vascular anatomical patterns of the lumbrical muscles in the literature.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Williams P.L.
        • Bannister L.H.
        • Berry M.M.
        Gray's anatomy.
        38th ed. Churchill Livingstone, New York, NY1995 (p. 861–2)
        • Moore K.L.
        • Dalley A.F.
        Clinically oriented anatomy.
        4th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia1999 (p. 770–1)
        • Eladoumikdachi F.
        • Valkov P.L.
        • Thomas J.
        • et al.
        Anatomy of the intrinsic hand muscles revisited: Part II. Lumbricals.
        Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002; 110: 1225-1231
        • Eyler D.L.
        • Markee J.E.
        The anatomy and function of the intrinsic musculature of the fingers.
        J Bone Joint Surg. 1954; 36A: 1-10
        • Ranney D.
        • Wells R.
        Lumbrical muscle function as revealed by a new and physiological approach.
        Anat Rec. 1988; 222: 110-114
        • Koncilia H.
        • Kuzbari R.
        • Worseg A.
        • et al.
        The lumbrical muscle flap: anatomic study and clinical application.
        J Hand Surg. 1998; 23A: 111-119
        • Wilgis E.F.S.
        Local muscle flaps in the hand: anatomy as related to reconstructive surgery.
        Bull Hosp Joint Dis. 1984; 44: 552-557
        • Tark K.C.
        • Kim Y.W.
        • Lee Y.H.
        • et al.
        Replantation and revascularization of hands: clinical analysis and functional results of 261 cases.
        J Hand Surg. 1989; 14A: 17-29
        • Weinzweg N.
        • Sharzer L.
        • Starker I.
        Replantation and revascularization at the transmetacarpal level: long-term functional results.
        J Hand Surg. 1996; 21A: 877-883
        • Scott F.A.
        • Howar J.W.
        • Boswick J.A.
        Recovery of function following replantation and revascularization of amputated hand parts.
        J Trauma. 1981; 21: 204-214
        • Spinner M.
        Kaplan's functional and surgical anatomy of the hand.
        3rd ed. JB Lippincott, Philadelphia1984 (p. 102–12)
        • Salmon M.
        • Dor J.
        Les arteres des muscles des membres et du tronc.
        Mason, Paris1993 (p. 103–4)
        • Zbrodowski A.S.
        • Gajisin J.
        • Grodecki H.
        The anatomy of the digitopalmar arches.
        J Bone Joint Surg. 1981; 63B: 108-113
        • Weinzweig N.
        • Starker I.
        • Sharzer L.A.
        • et al.
        Revisitation of the vascular anatomy of the lumbrical and interosseous muscles.
        Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997; 99: 785-790