The microvacuolar system: how connective tissue sliding works.
The term 'fascia' has been applied to a large number of very different tissues within the hand. These range from aligned ligamentous formations such as the longitudinal bands of the palmar fascia or Grayson's and Cleland's ligaments, to the loose packing tissues that surround all of the moving structures within the hand. In other parts of the body the terms 'superficial' and 'deep fascia' are often used but these have little application in the hand and fingers. Fascia can be divided into tissues that restrain motion, act as anchors for the skin, or provide lubrication and gliding. Whereas the deep fascia is preserved and easily characterized in anatomical dissection, the remaining fascial tissue is poorly described. Understanding its structure and dynamic anatomy may help improve outcomes after hand injury and disease. This review describes the sliding tissue of the hand or the 'microvacuolar system' and demonstrates how movement of tissues can occur with minimal distortion of the overlying skin while maintaining tissue continuity.
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