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Palmaris brevis muscle: want to learn more about it?

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Palmaris brevis muscle

Palmaris brevis muscle (Musculus palmaris brevis)

Palmaris brevis is a small quadrangular muscle found in the hypothenar region of the hand.

Even though it is located in this region, palmaris brevis doesn’t belong to the hypothenar muscle group, but rather, it is classified on its own as an outstanding superficial muscle of this region.

Spanning between the fibrous structures of the hand and the hypothenar skin, this muscle aids in producing and maintaining an effective and strong grip by tightening the palmar aponeurosis.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of palmaris brevis muscle.

Key facts about the palmaris brevis muscle
Origin Palmar aponeurosis, flexor retinaculum
Insertion Dermis of skin of hypothenar region
Action Tightens palmar aponeurosis, tightens grip
Innervation Superficial branch of ulnar nerve (C8, T1)
Blood supply Superficial palmar arch

Origin and insertion

The thin palmaris brevis muscle sits entirely within the palmar aspect of the hand, in the subcutaneous tissue of its ulnar side. It originates from the flexor retinaculum and the medial margin of the palmar aponeurosis. Its fibers take a short medial course, after which they insert into the dermis of skin of the hypothenar eminence.

Relations

Lying directly beneath the skin, palmaris brevis is the most superficial muscle on the ulnar side of the hand. Deep to the muscle are the ulnar artery, superficial palmar arch, superficial branch of the ulnar nerve and the muscles of the hypothenar eminence (abductor digiti minimi, flexor digiti minimi brevis and opponens digiti minimi).

Palmaris brevis forms the roof of Guyon’s canal, the fibro-osseous canal found on the ulnar side of the palm through which the ulnar artery and nerve travel into the palmar hand.

Innervation

Palmaris brevis is innervated by the superficial branch of ulnar nerve (C8, T1). This nerve emerges from the medial cord of the brachial plexus.

Blood supply

Blood supply to the palmaris brevis muscle comes from the superficial palmar arch, which is an arterial network formed mainly by the ulnar artery. Some individuals may also receive contributions from the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery or princeps pollicis artery.

Function

The palmaris brevis muscle tightens the palmar aponeurosis while contracting, which wrinkles the hypothenar skin and deepens the palmar fossa while holding a grip. This action helps to position and stabilize the palm during a spherical power grip, where it is necessary to pose the hand in a cup-formation, or during repetitive grip movements.

Palmaris brevis muscle: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Show references

References:

  • Cael, C. (2010). Functional anatomy: Musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, and palpation for manual therapists. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
  • Joshi, S. B. (2014). Variation in Formation of Superficial Palmar Arches with Clinical Implications. Journal Of Clinical And Diagnostic Research, 10(5). doi: 10.7860/jcdr/2014/7078.4252
  • Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Netter, F. (2019). Atlas of Human Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.
  • Palastanga, N., & Soames, R. (2012). Anatomy and human movement: structure and function (6th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
  • Standring, S. (2016). Gray's Anatomy (41tst ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Illustrations:

  • Palmaris brevis muscle (Musculus palmaris brevis) - Yousun Koh
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