The Thumb pp 229-239 | Cite as

Motor Loss

  • Jong-Pil KimEmail author
  • Jae-Sung Yoo


The thumb dynamically allows for precision pinching and power gripping movements. These thumb motions are facilitated through the coordination of intrinsic thenar and extrinsic musculatures. Therefore, when the thenar muscles are paralyzed, the balance of the hand is disrupted as well as loss of power to perform principal function of the thumb. The most important function of the thumb is opposition to the other fingers because thumb opposition is necessary for both of the precision pinching and power gripping movements of the hand, whereas thumb adduction provides forceful grip by stabilizing the thumb in the desired position. Therefore, when the adductor pollicis is paralyzed as noted in ulnar nerve palsy, powerful grip is impossible. The tendon transfers to restore thumb motor function have the potential to greatly improve hand function and the patient’s well-being and ability to pursue a “normal” life. However, several critical issues must be considered before tendon transfer is underwent. In this chapter, the principles of the tendon transfer and detailed surgical techniques for thumb reconstruction after thumb motor loss were described.


Thumb Motor Opposition Pinch Abductor pollicis brevis Adductor pollicis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hand and Microsurgery Division, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryDankook University College of MedicineCheonanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology and Medical ScienceGraduate School, Dankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea

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