anatomical snuff box

The anatomical snuff box is a surface anatomy feature. It appears as a triangular depression on the lateral surface of the wrist on full extension of the thumb.

Gross anatomy

  • medial: tendons of the extensor pollicis longus
  • lateral: tendons of the
    • extensor pollicis brevis
    • and more laterally abductor pollicis longus
  • floor

History and etymology

In the days when snuff use was popular, the user would place a small amount of snuff from the container into the "anatomical" snuff box (as opposed to the physical snuff box which he carried around in his pocket, hence "anatomical" ), close one nostril with an index finger and sniff the snuff up the open nostril. It was common practice to offer snuff to those in your company.

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