The muon anomalous magnetic moment continues to attract attention due to the possible tension between the experimentally measured value and the theoretical Standard Model prediction. With the aim to reduce the uncertainty on the hadronic light-by-light contribution to the magnetic moment, we derive short-distance constraints in the Melnikov-Vainshtein regime which are useful for data-driven determinations. In this kinematical region, two of the four electromagnetic currents are close in the four-point function defining the hadronic light-by-light tensor. To obtain the constraints, we develop a systematic operator product expansion of the tensor in question to next-to-leading order in the expansion in operators. We evaluate the leading in αs contributions and derive constraints for the next-to-leading operators that are also valid nonperturbatively.
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