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CASE REPORT
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-107
 

A foregoing thenar muscular branch of the median nerve


1 Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Diyarbakir and Istanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara, Turkey

Date of Web Publication3-Jun-2010

Correspondence Address:
Samet Vasfi Kuvat
Seyitömer Mah. Emrullah Efendi Sok. No: 60/6 Findikzade 34098 Fatih, Istanbul
Turkey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.63963

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 » Abstract 

We present a 62-year-old female patient who had an anatomic variation in the median nerve of the left hand. During surgery for releasing the left carpal tunnel, an abnormally high level of origin of the thenar muscular branch of the median nerve was detected, at 2.5 cm above the proximal border of transverse carpal ligament. It traveled between the medial side of the flexor carpi radialis tendon and median nerve and entered the carpal tunnel. After exiting the carpal tunnel distally, the nerve, was noted to course towards the thenar area. Such variations in the median nerve should be kept in mind while performing carpal tunnel release.


Keywords: Median nerve; motor branch; anatomical variations


How to cite this article:
Kuvat SV, Ozcakar L, Yazar M. A foregoing thenar muscular branch of the median nerve. Indian J Plast Surg 2010;43:106-7

How to cite this URL:
Kuvat SV, Ozcakar L, Yazar M. A foregoing thenar muscular branch of the median nerve. Indian J Plast Surg [serial online] 2010 [cited 2019 Jul 17];43:106-7. Available from: http://www.ijps.org/text.asp?2010/43/1/106/63963



 » Introduction Top


Motor branch or recurrent branch of the median nerve, also called as the thenar branch, innervates the intrinsic muscles of the thumb (abductor pollicis brevis, opponens pollicis, and the superficial head of the flexor pollicis brevis). It has an important role in the movements of the thumb and thus in many activities of the hand. Accordingly, hand surgeons pay attention not to injure the motor branch while performing carpal tunnel surgery. [1,3] Herein, a rare anatomic variation regarding the motor branching of the median nerve is being reported.


 » Case Report Top


During surgery for releasing the left carpal tunnel in a 62-year-old lady, the thenar muscular branch of the median nerve was observed to originate 2.5 cm above the proximal border of the transverse carpal ligament [Figure 1]. It traveled along the medial side of the flexor carpi radialis tendon. By entering the carpal tunnel, the motor branch, along with the median nerve, was noted to course towards the thenar area distal to the transverse carpal ligament. It entered the thenar compartment in an intramuscular fashion [Figure 2]. The medial and lateral divisions of the median nerve were normal in appearance under the carpal tunnel and there were no pseudoganglion formation.


 » Discussion Top


The motor branch of the median nerve was, in relation to the transverse carpal ligament, was found to be of extraligamentous, subligamentous, transligamentous types in 46%, 31%, 23%, respectively in 246 carpal tunnel release operations by Lanz. [3] Siverhus et al.[4] while studying 72 hands of 36 cadavers, reported the classical distal (extraligamantous-subligamantous) branching in 86%, and transligamentous motor branching in the rest. While Linburg and Albright, [5] Rockwell [6] reported multiple motor branching anomalies, Graham [7] referred to a case with motor branching in the ulnar region. Lanz [3] and Gruber [8] found upper level median and lateral division branching (in the distal forearm) in four cases. Eiken et al.[9] reported three similar cases and Kessler reported one case with the same anomaly. [10] However, all those reports were of medial and lateral divisions of the median nerve at the upper level. [3] The upper level branching of only the motor branch is reported in the series of Olave et al.[1] in one case. Likewise in our case, only the motor branch branched out from the median nerve distally in the forearm. The sensory branch of the median nerve (medial and lateral divisions) was inside the carpal tunnel.

While releasing carpal tunnels a proper understanding of the anatomic variations of the motor branch is paramount in order not to cause iatrogenic injuries that may compromise hand functions severely.

 
 » References Top

1.Olave E, Prates JC, Del Sol M, Sarmento A, Gabrielli C. Distribution patterns of the muscular branch of the median nerve in the thenar region. J Anat 1995;186:441-6.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
2.Chung KC, Walters MR, Greenfield ML, Chernew ME. Endoscopic versus open carpal tunnel release: A cost-effectiveness analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg 1998;102:1089-99.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
3.Lanz U. Anatomical variations of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. J Hand Surg Am 1977;2:44-53.   Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]    
4.Siverhus SW, Kremchek TE, Smith WR, Basch TM, Drake RL. A cadaveric study of the anatomic variations of the recurrent motor branch of the median nerve. Orthop Rev 1989;18:315-20.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]    
5.Linburg RM, Albright JA. An anomalous branch of the median nerve: A case report. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1970;52:182-3.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]    
6.Rockwell WB, Stone B, Zakhireh M. Three thenar motor branches of the median nerve. Ann Plast Surg 2001;46:661-2.   Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
7.Graham WP 3rd. Variations of the motor branch of the median nerve at the wrist: Case report. Plast Reconstr Surg 1973;51:90-2.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]    
8.Gruber W. Queen's Elements of Anatomy. Longman's, London: Green and Co; 1987. p. 303.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Eiken O, Carstam N, Eddeland A. Anomalous distal branching of the median nerve: Case reports. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg 1971;5:149-52.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]    
10.Kessler I. Unusual distribution of the median nerve at the wrist: A case report. Clin Orthop Relat Res 1969;67:124-6.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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