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Anterior antebrachial muscles


The anterior compartment of the antebrachium consists of two muscle planes, one superficial and one deep. With the exception of the pronator quadratus, they flex the wrist and digits. Notice how the flexor digitorum profundus tendon passes distally beneath the forked tendons of the flexor digitorum superficialis to reach the distal phalanges. The long digital flexor muscles—flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus, and flexor pollicis longus—pass beneath the strong flexor retinaculum (transverse carpal ligament) with their accompanying tendon sheaths. This concave region of carpal bones with its retinacular roof is called the carpal tunnel. The long digital flexors share this tunnel with the median nerve as they pass into the hand. Inflammation in this tight region can compress the median nerve. This nerve compression, called carpal tunnel syndrome, leads to a loss of sensation and muscle weakness on the thumb side of the hand. The median and ulnar nerves, the terminal branches of the anterior divisions of the brachial plexus, innervate the muscles of the anterior antebrachium.


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