Lateral Pectoral Nerve

Written by Max Bidewell

Last updated September 18, 2023 • 8 Revisions

The lateral pectoral nerve is a motor nerve arising from the lateral cord of the brachial plexus.

It supplies motor innervation to the pectoralis major and contributes to the innervation of pectoralis minor.

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Course

The lateral pectoral nerve originates from the lateral cord of the brachial plexus, containing fibres from C5-7.

It first passes anterior to the axillary artery. Here, it commonly gives rise to a communicating branch which joins the medial pectoral nerve – forming the ansa pectoralis.

It then pieces the costocoracoid membrane, before terminating at the deep surface of the pectoralis major muscle.

Fig 1
Medial and lateral pectoral nerves.

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Motor Functions

The lateral pectoral nerve provides motor innervation to the pectoralis major. It also contributes to the innervation of the pectoralis minor muscle via the ansa pectoralis.

Fig 2
The sternal and clavicular heads of the pectoralis major.

Fig 3
The serratus anterior and pectoralis minor muscles.