Accessory muscles: anatomy, symptoms, and radiologic evaluation

Radiographics. 2008 Mar-Apr;28(2):481-99. doi: 10.1148/rg.282075064.


A wide array of supernumerary and accessory musculature has been described in the anatomic, surgical, and radiology literature. In the vast majority of cases, accessory muscles are asymptomatic and represent incidental findings at surgery or imaging. In some cases, however, accessory muscles may produce clinical symptoms. These symptoms may be related to a palpable swelling or may be the result of mass effect on neurovascular structures, typically in fibro-osseous tunnels. In cases in which an obvious cause for such symptoms is not evident, recognition and careful evaluation of accessory muscles may aid in diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm / anatomy & histology
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Leg / anatomy & histology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / abnormalities*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology