Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 14 December 2021

The adductor pollicis is one of the intrinsic muscles of the hand which adducts the thumb. It has two heads, the oblique head and the transverse head

The intrinsic muscles of the hand are involved with precision movements and consist of the following muscles:

The intrinsic muscles of the hand are innervated by the deep branch of the ulnar nerve, except the thenar muscles and the lateral two lumbricals. A mnemonic for remembering this is Meat LOAF, Meat = Median nerve innervates the Lateral lumbricals, Opponens pollicis, Abductor pollicis brevis and Flexor pollicis brevis


  • Transverse head: anterior shaft of third metacarpal
  • Oblique head: Adjacent bases of second and third metacarpals and capitate


  • medial side of the base of the proximal phalanx of the thumb and associated extensor hood.


  • Adduction of the thumb at the carpometacarpal joint


  • Deep Branch of Ulnar Nerve

Blood Supply

  • arteria princeps pollicis
  • arteria radialis indicis
  • branches from the deep palmar arch.