Assessment of the presence/absence of the palmaris longus muscle in different sports, and elite and non-elite sport populations.

Physiotherapy

PubMedID: 22507364

Fowlie C, Fuller C, Pratten MK. Assessment of the presence/absence of the palmaris longus muscle in different sports, and elite and non-elite sport populations. Physiotherapy. 2012;98(2):138-42.
OBJECTIVES
To investigate whether higher presence of the palmaris longus muscle is associated with sports that require hand grip.

DESIGN
Cross-sectional study.

PARTICIPANTS
Six hundred and forty-two medical students, members of sports clubs and national athletes.

METHODS
Participants were invited to complete a questionnaire that assessed their main sport, elite or non-elite level of participation, and level of activity. The presence of the palmaris longus was assessed visually using a standardised test.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Presence of the palmaris longus, type of hand grip required for the sport and the level of participation.

RESULTS
The presence of the palmaris longus was higher in elite athletes (21/22, 96%) than non-elite athletes (66/84, 79%; P=0.066) for sports that require a dominant-handed or two-handed cylindrical grip (18/22, 82% and 19/35, 54%, respectively; P=0.034). For both elite and non-elite athletes, the presence of the palmaris longus was higher in those participating in sustained grip sports (325/387, 84%) compared with sports that do not require a sustained grip (150/197, 76%; P=0.012).

CONCLUSIONS
The palmaris longus may provide an advantage in certain types of sport that require hand grip, and for elite athletes participating in sports that require a dominant-handed or two-handed cylindrical hand grip. Orthopaedic specialists considering the use of the palmaris longus for a grafting procedure on an athlete should consider the level of participation and the type of hand grip required in the athlete's sport.