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Extensor expansion
Tendons of forefinger and vincula tendina. (Extensor expansion not labeled, but region is visible.)

A extensor expansion (dorsal expansion, dorsal hood) is an anatomical term that refers to the flattened tendons (aponeurosis) of extensor muscles that run into the back of the hand.

It spans the proximal and middle phalanges. [1]

At the distal end of the metacarpal, the extensor tendon will expand to form a hood, which covers the back and sides of the head of the metacarpal and the proximal phalanx.


The expansion soon divides into three bands:

  • A single median band passes down the middle of the finger along the back of the proximal phalanx, ending at the base of the middle phalanx.
  • A band known as the retinacular ligament runs obliquely along the middle phalanx, and connects the fibrous digital sheath on the anterior side of the phalanges to the extensor expansion.


  1. ^ "eMedicine - Hand, Tendon Lacerations: Extensors : Article by D Glynn Bolitho, MD, PhD, FACS". Retrieved 2008-01-20.  
  2. ^ Kyung Won, PhD. Chung (2005). Gross Anatomy (Board Review). Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 43. ISBN 0-7817-5309-0.  

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