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Surg Radiol Anat. 1986;8(3):183-8.

An anatomical study of the palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve.


We present an anatomical study of the palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve emphasizing its frequency, origin, perforation point at the transverse carpal ligament, point of emergence in the palm, width, length, divisions and innervation territory. For this purpose, fifty cadaver hands were dissected under a stereomicroscope and/or magnifying glass. The origin of the palmar cutaneous branch (PCB) was on the average 4.56 cm proximal to conventionally named "zero point" on the most distal transverse volar wrist crease. Perforation of the aponeurosis occurred on average 0.79 cm from the mentioned point and its emergence in the palm at 0.76 cm. The nerve had an average length of 5.24 cm. PCB's divisions in the palm resulted in a medial branch in 42%, a lateral branch in 92% and an intermediate branch in 100% of the hands studied. In six specimens PCB presented a deep branch which was directed toward the thenar eminence or made communication with the superficial branch of the palmar digital nerve or still penetrated between the first or second metacarpal. In 4% of the cases there was a communicating branch between the superficial branch of the radial nerve and the PCB. These anatomical results should be considered in the evaluation of the best surgical techniques for decompression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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