Hand Exam: Motor 8/13 – Extensor Pollicis Longus (EPL)



Extensor Pollicis Longus (EPL)

  • Instruct the patient to lay their hand flat on a table and to “Lift only your thumb off the table”
  • Insertion: distal phalanx of thumb (first passes around Lister’s tubercle of the radius)
  • Action: extends thumb IP joint
  • Innervation: posterior interosseous branch of the radial nerve

The 13 muscle groups you need to test in the hand exam:

  1. FPL
  2. FDP
  3. FDS
  4. Thenar muscles
  5. Interosseous
  6. Hypothenar muscles
  7. EPB and APL
  8. EPL
  9. EDC
  10. EIP and EDM
  11. ECRL and ECRB
  12. ECU
  13. Adductor Pollicis

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