In anatomy, physical therapists learn the palmaris longus muscle really does not have a purpose. It is absent in 14-19% of the population and if absent, does not typically make a difference in function. So, what good is it? Read on.
I am currently rehabilitating my first CMC arthroplasty. Quite a privilege as most physical therapists who treat this condition are certified hand therapists, which I am not. A pearl for working in a rural area.
One of the techniques if conservative treatments fail is replacing the trapezium with a ‘balled up’ palmaris longus, known as the Anchovy Athroplasty.
Want to know if you have a palmaris longus? Touch the pads of your first and fifth fingers and flex your wrist. It will be very visible as shown below (Thanks to ODU DPT 2013 intern James Myatt!).
Or maybe yours is gone and looks like the pictures below.
The palmaris longus, even though absent in many people, can still serve a purpose.