Nerves Of The Upper Limb – Overview

This article is comprised of a summary of the important upper limb nerves, which includes….

  • Axillary nerve
  • Musculocutaneous nerve
  • Median nerve
  • Ulnar nerve
  • Radial nerve 
Axillary Nerve
  • Nerve roots
    • C5, C6
  • Branches
    • Anterior terminal branch
    • Posterior terminal branch 
    • Articular branch
  • Motor supply
    • Anterior terminal branch
      • Anterior aspect of the deltoid muscle
    • Posterior terminal branch
      • Posterior aspect of the deltoid muscle
      • Teres minor 
    • Articular branch
      • Glenohumeral joint
  • Cutaneous supply 
    • Upper lateral cutaneous nerve of the arm – Branch of posterior terminal branch 
      • Palm sized area of skin over the deltoid 

 

Axillary Nerve




Musculocutaneous Nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • C5, C6, C7
  • Motor supply
    • Biceps brachii 
    • Brachialis 
    • Coracobrachialis
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Lateral cutaneous nerve of the forearm 
      • Anterolateral aspect of the forearm
 
Musculocutaneous-nerve




Ulnar Nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • C7, C8, T1
  • Branches 
    • Muscular branch 
    • Dorsal cutaneous branch 
    • Palmar cutaneous branch
    • Superficial branch
  • Motor supply
    • In the forearm
      • Flexor carpi ulnaris
      • Flexor digitorum profundus (Medial half) 
    • In the hand
      • Hypothenar muscles
      • Adductor pollicis
      • Interossei (Palmer and dorsal)
      • 3rd and 4th lumbricals
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Both dorsal and ventral surface of the medial 1.5 fingers and associated palmer area 

 

Ulnar Nerve



Median Nerve

  • Nerve roots
    • C6, C7, C8, T1
  • Branches 
    • Anterior interosseous nerve
    • Palmar cutaneous nerve
    • Recurrent branch
    • Palmar digital branch
  • Motor supply
    • In the forearm 
      • Median nerve directly innervates 
        • Pronator teres
        • Fexor carpi radialis
        • Palmaris longus
        • Flexor digitorum superficialis
      • Anterior interosseous nerve
        • Flexor pollicis longus
        • Pronator quadratus
        • Flexor digitorum profundus (Lateral half)
    • In the hand
      • Recurrent branch
        • Thenar muscles
      • Palmar digital branch 
        • 1st and 2nd lumbricals
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Ventral surface of median 3.5 fingers and associated palmer area
    • Dorsal surface involve small areas on the medial 3.5 fingers
 
Median Nerve
 
 
Radial Nerve
  • Nerve roots
    • C5, C6, C7, C8, T1
  • Branches 
    • Deep branch → Posterior interosseous nerve 
    • Superficial branch
  • Motor supply
    • Radial nerve directly innervates….
      • Triceps
      • Anconeus
      • Brachioradialis
      • Extensor carpi radialis longus
    • Posterior interosseous nerve
      • Extensor carpi radialis brevis 
      • Supinator
      • Extensor digitorum
      • Extensor digiti minimi
      • Extensor carpi ulnaris
      • Abductor pollicis longus
      • Extensor pollicis longus
      • Extensor pollicis brevis
      • Extensor indicis
  • Cutaneous supply
    • Lower lateral cutaneous nerve of arm 
      • Lateral aspect of the arm
    • Posterior cutaneous nerve of arm 
      • Posterior surface of the arm 
    • Posterior cutaneous nerve of forearm 
      • Strip of skin of the posterior forearm
    • superficial branch 
      • Dorsal surface of the lateral three and half digits and the associated area on the dorsum of the hand
 
Radial nerve
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