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Adductor pollicis muscle

Origins, insertions, innervation and functions of the adductor pollicis muscle.

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Hi everyone! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will be discussing the adductor pollicis muscle. The adductor pollicis which you see on this image highlighted in green is part of the thenar musculature which consists of four muscles located on the radial side of the palm. Together, they form the ball of the thumb known as the thenar eminence. They originate at different carpal bones and distally attached to the thumb. The adductor pollicis muscle is made up of a transverse head and an oblique head. In this tutorial, we will look at the origin, insertion, innervation and function of the adductor pollicis muscle.

The adductor pollicis muscle has two origin surfaces. The transverse head originates from the palmar base of the third metacarpal bone. The oblique head arises from the capitate bone and the palmar bases of the second and third metacarpal bones. The common tendon attaches distally to the proximal phalanx and the dorsal aponeurosis of the thumb via the ulnar sesamoid bone. The adductor pollicis is the deepest of all thenar muscles.

The adductor pollicis is supplied by the deep branch of the ulnar nerve. The main function of each thenar muscle is associated to their names. The powerful contraction of the adductor pollicis moves the thumb towards the hand or what we call adduction. The muscle also causes opposition of the thumb. Since the abductor pollicis brevis, adductor pollicis and flexor pollicis brevis attach more distally at the thumb, they can also perform an extension at the interphalangeal joint.

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