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September 12, 1953

Functional and Surgical Anatomy of the Hand

JAMA. 1953;153(2):177. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940190103023

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It is proper that the hand be considered as an organ, and with this thought in mind the author presents its functional and surgical anatomy. The importance of the hand as a medium through which we are in contact with the surronding world is stressed. Function is studied along the lines of comparative anatomy, particularly with that of the hands of anthropoid apes. Direct observations revealed that the differences are usually small and at times indistinguishable.

The comparative length of the thumb and the almost constant presence of the flexor pollicis longus is the most characteristic feature of the human hand. This combination permits better opposition and greater stability. The thenar eminence of the gorilla and chimpanzee are almost identical with that of the human hand. For the sake of study, the author has divided the hand artificially into three functional units: the thumb, the index and middle fingers, and

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