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|Nerve: Radial nerve|
|The suprascapular, axillary, and radial nerves.|
|Gray's||subject #210 943|
|Innervates||posterior compartment of the arm, posterior compartment of the forearm|
|To||posterior interosseous nerve|
- Main article: Spinal nerves
It originates from the posterior cord of the brachial plexus with roots from C5, 6, 7, 8, & T1.
The radial nerve and its branches supply the dorsal muscles, such as triceps brachii, the extrinsic extensors of the wrist and hands, and the cutaneous nerve supply to most of the back of the hand. (The ulnar nerve cutaneously innervates the back of the little finger.)
The radial nerve divides into a deep branch, (which becomes the posterior interosseous nerve), and continues as the superficial branch which goes on to innervate the dorsum (back) of the hand.
Course[edit | edit source]
Posterior[edit | edit source]
From the brachial plexus, it travels posteriorly through what often called the triangular interval.
Along with the deep brachial artery, the radial nerve winds around in the groove (between the medial and lateral heads of the triceps) towards the forearm, running laterally on the posterior aspect of the humerus.
While in the groove, it gives off a branch to the medial head of the triceps brachii.
The radial nerve emerges from the groove on the lateral aspect of the humerus.
Anterior[edit | edit source]
It then branches into a superficial branch (primarily sensory) and a deep branch (primarily motor).
- The superficial branch of the radial nerve descends in the forearm under the brachioradialis. It eventually pierces the deep fascia near the back of the wrist.
- The deep branch of the radial nerve pierces the supinator muscle, after which it is known as the posterior interosseous nerve.
Branches/Innervations[edit | edit source]
The following are branches/innervations of the radial nerve (including the superficial branch of the radial nerve and the deep branch of the radial nerve/posterior interosseous nerve).
Cutaneous[edit | edit source]
Cutaneous innervation is provided by the following nerves:
- Posterior cutaneous nerve of arm (originates in axilla)
- Inferior lateral cutaneous nerve of arm (originates in arm)
- Posterior cutaneous nerve of forearm (originates in arm)
The superficial branch of the radial nerve provides sensory innervation to much of the back of the hand, including the web of skin between the thumb and index finger.
Motor[edit | edit source]
Posterior interosseous nerve (a continuation of the deep branch after the supinator):
- Extensor digitorum
- Extensor digiti minimi
- Extensor carpi ulnaris
- Abductor pollicis longus
- Extensor pollicis brevis
- Extensor pollicis longus
- Extensor indicis
Additional images[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Muscular branches of the radial nerve
- Cutaneous branches of the radial nerve
- Superficial branch of the radial nerve
- Deep branch of the radial nerve
[edit | edit source]
- Duke Orthopedics radial_nerve
- Atlas of anatomy at UMich hand_plexus - "Axilla, dissection, anterior view"
|Nerves of upper limbs (primarily): the brachial plexus|
|supraclavicular: dorsal scapular - suprascapular - to the subclavius - long thoracic
posterior cord: subscapular (upper, lower) - thoracodorsal - axillary (superior lateral cutaneous of arm) - radial (muscular, inferior lateral cutaneous of arm, posterior cutaneous of arm, posterior cutaneous of forearm, superficial branch, deep branch, posterior interosseous)
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