Palmaris longus

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Palmaris longus (PL) is a superficial, weak flexor of the wrist located in the anterior compartment of the forearm.

  • origin: medial epicondyle of the humerus
  • insertion: palmar aponeurosis
  • innervation: median nerve
  • action: weak flexor of the wrist and elbow; tightens palmar aponeurosis during power grip

Palmaris longus is often absent, more commonly unilaterally absent than bilaterally. There is ethnic variation in prevalence of absence:

  • in ~3% of Asians
  • in ~5% of African-Americans
  • in ~14 (range 12-16%) of whites (Caucasians/Hispanics)

Due to its long tendon and short muscle belly, palmaris longus is often used as a donor tendon and its absence is not associated with any functional deficit 2.


Upper limb anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 23240
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Palmaris longus muscle
  • Palmaris longus (PL)

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