Biometric Study of the Innervation of the Lumbrical Muscles of the Human Hand

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Cristian Vega; Andrés Riveros & Enrique Olave


The lumbrical muscles (LM) of the human hand are key in proprioception of flexion and finger extension. The description of its innervation indicates that the median nerve (MN) innervates the two lateral LMs (L1 and L2) and the ulnar nerve (UN) the medial LMs (L3 and L4). Various authors have reported a great variability of this innervation, both in which nerve delivers branches for these muscles, as well as in the distribution of their branches and the presence of common trunks. On the other hand, the number of branches that each LM receives and the motor points (Mp) of these have been scarcely reported. The aim of this study was to determine the number, location and Mp of the branches destined for the LM of the human hand. Likewise, the most frequent innervation pattern was established. For this, 24 formalized hands, belonging to the anatomy laboratory, of the Universidad Andrés Bello, Viña del Mar, Chile, were used. Conventional depth plane dissection was performed. In all cases, the branch of the L1 muscle originated from the palmar digital nerve proper to the index finger, in the same way, in 100 % the L2 was supplied with a branch of the common palmar digital nerve from the second interosseous space. In relation to the LM, in 100 % both muscles were innervated by branches of the deep branch of the UN (DBUN). In the case of L3, 92 % presented a common trunk with the second palmar interosseous muscle. Likewise, in 79 % of the cases, there was a common trunk between the L4 and the third palmar interosseous muscle. In 29 %, the L3 presented a dual innervation. The distance between of the Mp-BEstL was 63.96 mm for L1, 67.91 mm for L2 and 68.69 mm for L3. This distance was 69.87 mm for L3 and 69, 21 mm for L4. The results obtained contribute to the anatomical knowledge of the innervation of the lumbrical muscles and is useful in neurosurgery procedures that seek to restore the functionality of the hand.

KEY WORDS: Anatomy; Innervation; Lumbrical Muscle; Median Nerve; Deep Branch of the Ulnar Nerve; Communicating branch; Anatomical Variations.

How to cite this article

VEGA, C.; RIVEROS, A. & OLAVE, E. Biometric study of the innervation of the lumbrical muscles of the human hand. Int. J. Morphol., 38(4):1096-1105, 2020.