A rare variation of the extensor indicis proprius tendon with important clinical implications

D. Casal, D. Pais, T. Bilhim, V. Ribeiro, S. Cunha, C. Damásio, R. Fernandes, M. Angélica-Almeida, J. Goyri-O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Anatomical variations of the extensor tendons to the fingers are of great clinical interest, due to the relatively high frequency of tendon injury in clinical practice. Material and methods: During routine dissection of the right upper limb of a 67-year-old female preserved corpse, the extensor indicis proprius (EIP) muscle belly originated 3 independent tendons, each with a separate fascial sheath, forming a triple EIP tendon. There was a larger tendon, which occupied a central position, that represented the usual single EIP tendon. In addition, there were two thinner radial and ulnar accessory EIP tendons. The radial-EIP tendon crossed deep to the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) tendon to the index finger in the distal half of the dorsum of the hand to reach the radial side of the extensor expansion hood of the index finger. Discussion: According to the literature, the frequency of a triple EIP tendon ranges from 0%, to as high as 7%, although most authors do not acknowledge the presence of this variant in their series. This variant of the EIP tendon, in which the radial- EIP terminated laterally to the termination of the tendon of the EDC to the index finger, may be a source of confusion intraoperatively, as the EIP tendon has traditionally been identified on the basis of its ulnar location with respect to the EDC tendon. Conclusion: The possibility of a triple EIP tendon should certainly be born in mind by all surgeons when performing tendon repairs, tenoplasties or tendon transfers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-211
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Morphological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2011


  • Extensor digitorum communis
  • Extensor indicis proprius
  • Hand surgery
  • Repair
  • Variation


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