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Absence of flexor digitorum profundus muscle and variation of flexor digitorum superficialis muscle in a little finger: two case reports



Knowledge of rare variants of the FDP is of high clinical importance for physicians examining patients for tendon lacerations and especially for hand surgeons operating tendon injuries.


During routine dissection at our Department of Anatomy both cases were observed.


Variations of flexor digitorum superficialis and flexor digitorum profundus muscles of the little finger were observed in two cadavers. In both cases, the flexor digitorum profundus muscle for the little finger was absent. Moreover, in the first case, the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle for the little finger was hypoplastic and in the second case it featured variable insertion.


There were found only four cases in previous literature describing absent flexor digitorum profundus tendon without any muscle attachment to the base of the distal phalanx. Furthermore, all previously described cases were observed in living patients. To our best knowledge, a case report in cadaver has yet not been reported and is of high importance for hand surgeons examining the hand for tendon injuries.

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We are very thankful to all the body donors for their kind donation, to Dr. Shilu Shrestha and Dr. David Veigl for hand surgery consultations, Michal Beneš for English language corrections, Nastasia Iashchenko for drawing a scheme and to anonymous reviewer for the help with the current version of this manuscript.

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MB: data collection, manuscript writing. VK: project development, data collection, manuscript editing. DK: project development, manuscript editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David Kachlik.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Institutional support was received from Charles University as Grant PROGRES Q37.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Belbl, M., Kunc, V. & Kachlik, D. Absence of flexor digitorum profundus muscle and variation of flexor digitorum superficialis muscle in a little finger: two case reports. Surg Radiol Anat 42, 945–949 (2020).

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  • Anatomical variation
  • Flexor digitorum profundus
  • Flexor digitorum superficialis
  • Hand surgery
  • Musculoskeletal system