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Venous Drainage of the Upper Limb

The venous system of the upper limb drains deoxygenated blood from the arm, forearm and hand. It can be subdivided into the superficial system and the deep system. In this article, we shall look at the anatomy of the upper limb veins – their anatomical course, structure, and their clinical relevance. Superficial Veins The major […]

The Musculocutaneous Nerve

The musculocutaneous nerve is a major peripheral nerve of the upper limb. In this article, we shall look at the anatomy of the musculocutaneous nerve – its anatomical course, motor and sensory functions, and its clinical correlations.  Overview Nerve roots – C5-C7. Motor functions – muscles in the anterior compartment of the arm (coracobrachialis, biceps brachii and the brachialis). Sensory […]

The Radial Nerve

The radial nerve is a major peripheral nerve of the upper limb. In this article, we shall look at the anatomy of the radial nerve – its anatomical course and its motor and sensory functions. We shall also consider the clinical consequences of damage to the nerve. Overview Nerve roots – C5-T1. Sensory – Innervates most of the […]

The Axillary Nerve

The axillary nerve is a major peripheral nerve of the upper limb. In this article, we shall look at the anatomy of the axillary nerve – its anatomical course, motor and sensory functions, and any clinical correlations. Overview Spinal roots: C5 and C6. Sensory functions: Gives rise to the upper lateral cutaneous nerve of arm, which innervates […]

Muscles of the Upper Arm

The upper arm is located between the shoulder joint and elbow joint. It contains four muscles – three in the anterior compartment (biceps brachii, brachialis, coracobrachialis), and one in the posterior compartment (triceps brachii). In this article, we shall look at the anatomy of the muscles of the upper arm – their attachments, innervation and […]

The Clavicle

The clavicle (collarbone) extends between the manubrium of the sternum and the acromion of the scapula. It is classed as a long bone and can be palpated along its length. In thin individuals, it is visible under the skin. The clavicle has three main functions: Attaches the upper limb to the trunk as part of the ‘shoulder girdle’. Protects […]

The Axilla Region

The axilla is the name given to an area that lies underneath the glenohumeral joint, at the junction of the upper limb and the thorax. It is a passageway by which neurovascular and muscular structures can enter and leave the upper limb. In this article, we shall examine the anatomy of the axilla – the borders, contents, […]

Anatomical Terms of Movement

Anatomical terms of movement are used to describe the actions of muscles upon the skeleton. Muscles contract to produce movement at joints, and the subsequent movements can be precisely described using this terminology. The terms used assume that the body begins in the anatomical position. Most movements have an opposite movement – also known as […]

The Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a network of nerve fibres that supplies the skin and musculature of the upper limb. It begins in the root of the neck, passes through the axilla, and runs through the entire upper extremity. The plexus is formed by the anterior rami (divisions) of cervical spinal nerves C5, C6, C7 and C8, and […]

The Scapula

The scapula is also known as the shoulder blade. It articulates with the humerus at the glenohumeral joint, and with the clavicle at the acromioclavicular joint. In doing so, the scapula connects the upper limb to the trunk. It is a triangular, flat bone, which serves as a site for attachment for many (17!) muscles. In […]

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