Abductor Digiti Minimi -hand

In human anatomy, the abductor digiti minimi (abductor minimi digitiabductor digiti quintiADM) is a skeletal muscle situated on the ulnar border of the palm of the hand. It forms the ulnar border of the palm and its spindle-like shape defines the hypothenar eminence of the palm together with the skinconnective tissue, and fat surrounding it. Its main function is to pull the little finger away from the other fingers (i.e. abduction).

Abductor Digiti Minimi -hand


What does the abductor Digiti Minimi do?

It helps flex the joint of the first knuckle. Nerve functions are supplied by the deep branch of the ulnar nerve. The abductor digiti minimi muscle can be used as a donor muscle in opponensplasty, a surgery to restore thumb opposition that has been damaged or injured.

Abductor Digiti Minimi -hand


The abductor digiti minimi arises from the pisiform bone, the pisohamate ligament, and the flexor retinaculum.[1]

Its distal tendon ends in three slips that are inserted into the ulnopalmar margin of the proximal phalanx, the palmar plate of the metacarpophalangeal joint, and the sesamoid bone when present. Some fibers insert into the finger’s dorsal aponeurosis, which is why the muscle acts similar to a dorsal interosseus muscle.[2]

Additionally, the ulnar-most portion of the tendon inserts into the little finger’s digital cord, and the muscle thus forms part of a structure that flexes the metacarpophalangeal joint and extends the interphalangeal joints[2]


It is innervated by the deep branch of the ulnar nerve (C8T1).[1]


The abductor digit minimi develops at an early stage from an ulnar muscle primordium of the superficial layer of the original undifferentiated mesenchyme of the hand, together with the flexor digitorum superficialis (medial primordia) and the abductor pollicis brevis (radial). In contrast, the remaining hypothenar muscles are derived from the deep layer at a later stage. [3]


In rare cases, accessory fascicles of the abductor digiti minimi have been found arising from the antebrachial fascia, the radius, and the ulna.[3]

The abductor digiti minimi is the most variable hypothenar muscle,[4] and might be joined by accessory slips from the tendon of the flexor carpi ulnaris, the flexor retinaculum, the fascia of the distal forearm, or the tendon of the palmaris longus. Occasionally, the muscle is partially inserted onto the fifth metacarpal bone.[5]

In the case of polydactyly, it may insert to the sixth finger instead, if there is one.


It is an abductor of the little finger[1] at the metacarpophalangeal joint.[6]

It is also possible that the muscle contributes to the extension of the middle phalanx of the little finger through its connection to finger’s extensor mechanism.[5]

It plays an important role when the hand is grasping large objects with outspread fingers. [7]


The name is derived from the Latin –ab “away from”; ducere “to draw”; digitus, “digit”; and minimum, smallest; or Quintus, “fifth”, meaning “abductor of the smallest or fifth finger”.[5]

Pisiform bone, pisohamate ligament and flexor retinaculum
The ulnar side of base of proximal phalanx of the little finger and extensor expansion
Abducts little finger at metacarpophalangeal joint
Deep branch of the ulnar nerve (C8, T1)


Therapeutic Swedish Massage, Sports Massage Therapy in Santa Barbara, Goleta

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.