Palmaris longus muscle

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 24 Aug 2021

Palmaris longus (PL) muscle is a superficial, weak flexor of the wrist located in the anterior compartment of the forearm. It is one of the extrinsic muscles of the hand.

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.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: palmar aponeurosis (Gray's illustration)
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