Muscle Anatomy

flexor digitorum superficialis

The flexor digitorum superficialis muscle is located in the anterior compartment of the forearm, forming part of the flexor muscles responsible for bending the fingers. It is a relatively large muscle with two heads.

Originating from the medial epicondyle of the humerus and the coronoid process of the ulna, the flexor digitorum superficialis takes its starting point from the bony structures on the inner side of the elbow and the ulna.

The muscle inserts into the middle phalanges of the four fingers (index, middle, ring, and little fingers). Specifically, it inserts into the common flexor digitorum superficialis tendon, which then divides to attach to the individual fingers. This insertion site establishes a connection with the bones of the hand.

Functionally, the flexor digitorum superficialis is a flexor of the fingers at the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints. It actively participates in bending the middle phalanges of the index, middle, ring, and little fingers. Importantly, the muscle has the unique ability to flex the PIP joints while allowing the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints to remain extended. This allows for a grip that is less forceful but more precise, often referred to as a "hook grip." The flexor digitorum superficialis is crucial in various activities involving finger flexion, such as gripping objects and typing. It contributes to the intricate movements and functionality of the hand.