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Flexor digitorum profundus muscle

Origins, insertions, innervation and function of the flexor digitorum profundus muscle.

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Hello again everyone! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will discuss the flexor digitorum profundus. The flexor digitorum profundus is one of the three deep flexors of the forearm. They run under the flexor digitorum superficialis very closely to the radius and ulna, and for that reason, they are difficult to palpate. Right now, we are looking at the flexor digitorum profundus which is highlighted in green from an anterior view.

The flexor digitorum profundus muscle originates at the proximal half of the anterior ulna and the interosseus membrane. Distally, it inserts at the palmar side of the end of distal phalanges of the second to fifth fingers. The flexor digitorum profundus muscle is a composite muscle that is innervated by two nerves, namely, the median nerve and the ulnar nerve. At the wrist, the four tendons of the flexor digitorum profundus run through the carpal tunnel, a passage formed by the carpal bones dorsally and a tight densification of the antebrachial fascia anteriorly.

With a little imagination, it’s not hard to see that the name of the muscle could be Latin for flexes digits, and that’s essentially what this muscle does. The deep flexors are mainly responsible for flexion of the hand and finger joints. The contraction of the flexor digitorum profundus leads to flexion in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP), proximal interphalangeal (PIP), and distal interphalangeal joints (DIP) of the second to fifth fingers as well as the wrist joint. As this muscle is permanently tensed, the fingers are always slightly bent while at rest.

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