Parthiban Karuppiah, Vino Victor Jesudas, Porkalai Krishnamoorthy

BACKGROUND Palmaris longus is a member of superficial group of flexor compartment of forearm muscles. It is a weak flexor of wrist and tensor of palmar aponeurosis. Its absence does not affect the strength or grip. However, its anomalous variants may cause clinical syndromes. Also, its long tendon with short muscle belly favours its use in tendon grafts and repair. Since it is a highly variable muscle, its variations must be studied. The aim of the study is to evaluate the different variations in palmaris longus muscle in cadavers and its possible clinical implications. MATERIALS AND METHODS This study was conducted in the Department of Anatomy of Madurai Medical College, Madurai. 30 formalin preserved cadavers were dissected during the period 2015-2018. A total of 60 upper limbs were studied. Both female and male cadavers of all age groups were included. Specimens damaged during dissection were excluded. The anterior compartment of forearm in all specimens were dissected step by step as per the directions given in Cunningham’s manual of dissection. The palmaris longus muscle was identified by tracing out its origin and insertion. Anatomical variations encountered in the due course were documented and analysed using chi square test for statistical significance. The prevalence and significance of variations from the other studies done so far have also been studied. RESULTS Bilateral absence of palmaris longus along with palmar aponeurosis which is a rare occurrence was observed in a female cadaver. Bilateral duplication of palmaris longus was noted in one male cadaver. Duplication is more common in males. Absence is more common in females. In general, Variations are more common in females. CONCLUSION With variations of palmaris longus being more common, adequate knowledge about its prevalence and significance is needed in multiple medical specialities for its reconstructive use and clinical syndromes caused by it at times. Therefore, diagnosing and treating them appropriately is very important.