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Anterior Ramus of Second Cervical Nerve
Nervous System

Anterior Ramus of Second Cervical Nerve

Ramus anterior nervi cervicalis secundi

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Quick Facts

Origin: Second cervical nerve.

Course: Runs laterally in the neck from the intervertebral foramen between the atlas and axis and contributes to the formation of cervical plexus.

Branches: Ascending and descending branches.

Supply: Motor innervation to the infrahyoid and anterior prevertebral muscles. General somatic sensory innervation to skin on the side of the neck and around external ear. Visceral autonomic efferents to blood vessels and glands.

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Origin

The anterior ramus of the second cervical nerve originates from the second cervical nerve.

Course

The anterior ramus of the second cervical nerve originates in the neck, lateral to the intervertebral foramen between the atlas and axis (first and second cervical vertebrae, respectively).

Branches

The anterior ramus of the second cervical nerve divides into ascending and descending branches with contribute to the cervical plexus.

Supplied Structures

The anterior ramus of the second cervical nerve conveys motor fibers to the cervical plexus, thus innervating the infrahyoid muscles (sternohyoid, sternothyroid and inferior belly of omohyoid) via the ansa cervicalis. Other muscles innervated include the anterior prevertebral muscles, including rectus capitis anterior and lateralis and longus colli muscles.

General somatic sensory information of pain, temperature, touch, etc., from the side of the neck and around the external ear, is conveyed to the anterior ramus through cutaneous branches of cervical plexus, including lesser occipital, great auricular, and transverse cervical nerves.

The sympathetic innervation to blood vessels and glands in the head and neck region originates in the lateral horn of the first thoracic spinal segment and ascends in the sympathetic chain to reach the superior cervical ganglion. From here, the postganglionic sympathetic neurons enter the anterior ramus of the second cervical nerve via the gray communicating branches and get subsequently distributed to vessels and glands.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Cervical Nerves

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Burner or stinger syndrome is a syndrome resulting from injuries to either the upper cervical nerve roots or the upper trunk of BP.

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