The accessory heads of flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum profundus: Incidence and morphology

Mangala M. Pai, Soubhagya R. Nayak, Ashwin Krishnamurthy, Rajanigandha Vadgaonkar, Latha V. Prabhu, Anu V. Ranade, Jiji P. Janardhan, Rajalakshmi Rai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Kiloh-Nevin syndrome caused by compressive neuropathy of the anterior interosseous nerve in the forearm is believed to occur because of its compression by the accessory head of flexor pollicis longus (FPLah). Gantzer described two accessory muscles, the more frequent is the FPLah and the less frequently observed is the flexor digitorum profundus accessory head (FDPah). Many studies have reported the prevalence, origin, insertion, nerve supply, and relations of these accessory muscles, most of them focusing on the FPLah. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence, morphology, relation to median and anterior interosseous nerve, and also the coexistence of both the accessory heads. A total of 126 upper limbs of the embalmed cadavers were examined in this study. Fifty-eight limbs (46.03%) showed the presence of the FPLah and 18 limbs (14.28%) had the FDPah. The most common origin of both the accessory muscle bellies was from the under surface of the flexor digitorum superficialis. The FPLah inserted into the FPL muscle at varying levels with 80% inserting into the proximal third of FPL, whereas the FDPah in all cases ended near the level of the wrist joining with one or more tendons of the FDP. Clinical implication of the variation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-258
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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