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.
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Published online: January 27, 2007
Accepted: June 8, 2006
Received: June 8, 2005
© 2006 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.