, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 403–407 | Cite as

A classification system for anomalies of the extensor pollicis longus

  • Tolga Türker
  • Gregory A. Robertson
  • Sunil M. ThirkannadEmail author
Original Article



Variations of the long extensor tendon to the thumb are very rare.

Materials and Methods

We present three cases in which there was a supernumerary long extensor tendon to the thumb. In all three cases, the supernumerary tendon emerged from the fourth dorsal compartment and had a parallel course to the extensor pollicis longus.


Details of the anomalies are described along with a meta-analysis of relevant literature. A classification system of these anomalies is also proposed.


Extensor tendon Thumb Supernumerary tendon Anomalies 



No financial benefits or otherwise have been received by any of the authors for the whole or part of this study. There are also no conflicts of interest.


  1. 1.
    Abu-Hijleh MF. Extensor pollicis tertius: an additional extensor muscle to the thumb. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1993;92(2):340–3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Beatty JD, Remedios D, McCullough CJ. An accessory extensor tendon of the thumb as a cause of dorsal wrist pain. J Hand Surg [Br]. 2000;25(1):110–1.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cavdar S, Sehirli U. The accessory tendon of the extensor indicis muscle. Okajimas Folia Anat Jpn. 1996;73(2–3):139–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chiu DT. Supernumerary extensor tendon to the thumb: a report on a rare anatomic variation. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1981;68(6):937–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Culver Jr JE. Extensor pollicis and indicis communis tendon: a rare anatomic variation revisited. J Hand Surg [Am]. 1980;5(6):548–9.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cohen BE, Haber JL. Supernumerary extensor tendon to the thumb: a case report. Ann Plast Surg. 1996;36(1):105–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gaulke R (2001) The Extensor Pollicis et Indicis: an accessory or rudimentary deep extensor tendon to the thumb? Variants—frequency—clinical relevance. Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir Sep;33(5):310–320. Review. GermanGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gonzalez MH, Weinzweig N, Kay T, Grindel S. Anatomy of the extensor tendons to the index finger. J Hand Surg [Am]. 1996;21(6):988–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Komiyama M, Nwe TM, Toyota N, Shimada Y. Variations of the extensor indicis muscle and tendon. J Hand Surg [Br]. 1999;24(5):575–8.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Papaloïzos MY. Accessory extensor pollicis longus. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg. 2004;38(5):310–3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sawaizumi T, Nanno M, Ito H. Supernumerary extensor pollicis longus tendon: a case report. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2003;28(6):1014–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Steichen JB, Petersen DP. Junctura tendinum between extensor digitorum communis and extensor pollicis longus. J Hand Surg [Am]. 1984;9(5):674–6.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yoshida Y. Anatomical studies on the extensor pollicis et indicis accessorius muscle and the extensor indicis radialis muscle in Japanese. Okajimas Folia Anat Jpn. 1995;71(6):355–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Association for Hand Surgery 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tolga Türker
    • 1
  • Gregory A. Robertson
    • 1
  • Sunil M. Thirkannad
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and MicrosurgeryLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.LouisvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations