Abductor digiti minimi muscle of hand

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For the muscle of the foot, see Abductor digiti minimi muscle of foot.
Abductor digiti minimi muscle of hand
Musculus abductor digiti minimi (Hand).png
The muscles of the left hand. Palmar surface. (Abductor digiti quinti visible at center left.)
Latin musculus abductor digiti minimi manus
base of the proximal phalanx of the 5th digit on the ulnar or medial side
ulnar artery
deep branch of ulnar nerve
Actions Abducts little finger
Gray's p.463
TA A04.6.02.062
FMA FMA:37382
Anatomical terms of muscle

In human anatomy, the abductor digiti minimi (abductor minimi digiti, abductor digiti quinti, ADM) is a skeletal muscle situated on the ulnar border of the palm of the hand. It forms the ulnar border of the palm and its spindle-like shape defines the hypothenar eminence of the palm together with the skin, connective tissue, and fat surrounding it. Its main function is to pull the little finger away from the other fingers (i.e. abduction).


From Latin ab, "away from"; ducere "to draw"; digitus, "digit"; and minimum, smallest; or quintus, "fifth", meaning "abductor of the smallest/fifth finger". [1]

Origin and insertion[edit]

The abductor digiti minimi arises from the pisiform bone, the pisohamate ligament, and the flexor retinaculum.[2]

Its distal tendon ends in three slips that are inserted into the ulnopalmar margin of the proximal phalanx, the palmar plate of the metacarpophalangeal joint, and the sesamoid bone when present. Some fibers insert into the finger's dorsal aponeurosis, why the muscle acts similar to a dorsal interosseus in the middle finger. [3]

Additionally, the ulnar-most portion of the tendon inserts into the little finger's digital cord, and the muscle thus forms part of a structure that flexes the metacarpophalangeal joint and extends the interphalangeal joints. [3]


It is a pure abductor of the little finger[2] at the metacarpophalangeal joint.[4]

It is possible that the muscle contribute to extension of the middle phalanx of the little finger through its connection to finger's extensor mechanism. [1]

It plays an important role when the hand is grasping large objects with outspread fingers. [5]


It is innervated by the deep branch of the ulnar nerve (C8–T1). [2]


The abductor digit minimi develops at an early stage from an ulnar muscle primordia of the superficial layer of the original undifferentiated mesenchyme of the hand, together with the flexor digitorum superficialis (medial primordia) and the abductor pollicis brevis (radial). In contrast, the remaining hypothenar muscles are derived from the deep layer at a later stage. [6]


In rare cases accessory fascicles of the abductor digiti minimi have been found arising from the antebrachial fascia, the radius, and the ulna. [6]

The muscle might be joined by accessory slips from the tendon of the flexor carpi ulnaris, the flexor retinaculum, the fascia of the distal forearm, or the tendon of the palmaris longus. Occasionally, the muscle is partially inserted onto the fifth metacarpal bone. [1]

In case of polydactyly it may insert to the sixth finger instead, if there is one.

Additional images[edit]

Transverse section across the wrist and digits. 
The radial and ulnar arteries. 
Ulnar and radial arteries. Deep view. 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Abductor digiti minimi muscle 
Muscles of hand. Cross section. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Doyle & Botte 2003, pp. 155–156
  2. ^ a b c Platzer 2004, p. 178
  3. ^ a b Schmidt & Lanz 2003, p. 125
  4. ^ Origin, insertion and nerve supply of the muscle at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
  5. ^ Palastanga, Field & Soames 2006, p. 112
  6. ^ a b Sanudo, Mirapeix & Ferreira 1993