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Extensor pollicis longus

Other Terms: Musculus extensor pollicis longus, Muscle long extenseur du pouce

Muscle parts


Latin name

Musculus extensor pollicis longus

Latin muscle parts



Antebrachial muscle – posterior compartment – radial group


In English this muscle’s name is the long muscle that straightens the thumb. The word extensor comes from the Latin ex meaning “out from” and tendere meaning “to stretch.” The Latin pollex meaning “thumb” arises from the Latin polleo meaning “to be strong,” as the thumb was the strongest of the fingers. Longus is the Latin term meaning “long.” This is being used as a comparative reference to a shorter muscle that does the same thing.


Lateral side of the posterior surface of the ulna distal to the abductor pollicis longus and the adjacent interosseous membrane


Posterior surface of the base of distal phalanx of the thumb


Extends the metacarpal bone and the proximal and distal phalanges of the thumb

Nerve supply

Radial nerve (C7 and C8)

Blood supply

From proximal to distal, the muscle belly receives blood from the posterior interosseous artery and perforating branches from the anterior interosseous artery. The distal tendon receives blood from the a branch of the radial artery in the anatomical snuff box, the dorsal metacarpal artery, and small branches from the dorsal carpal arch.


Musculus extensor pollicis longus


Muscle long extenseur du pouce


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