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Anterior Ramus of Seventh Cervical Nerve
Nervous System

Anterior Ramus of Seventh Cervical Nerve

Ramus anterior nervi cervicalis septimi

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Quick Facts

Origin: Seventh cervical nerve.

Course: In the neck, running laterally from the C6-C7 intervertebral foramen towards the space between the anterior and middle scalene muscles.

Branches: Long thoracic nerve, middle trunk of the brachial plexus.

Supply: Sensory and motor innervation. Sensory to the posterior arm, forearm, and hand, and the lateral forearm. Motor to all the muscles of the anterior compartment of the arm, the pectoralis muscles, most forearm flexors, and thenar muscles. Motor to all the muscles of the posterior compartment of the arm and forearm. Motor innervation of the latissimus dorsi.

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Origin

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

Course

The anterior ramus of the seventh cervical spinal nerve originates in the neck, lateral to the intervertebral foramen between the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae. It runs laterally towards the space between the anterior and middle scalene muscles.

Branches

The bulk of the anterior ramus of the seventh cervical nerve becomes the middle trunk of the brachial plexus. However, together with the anterior rami of the fifth and sixth cervical nerves, it forms the long thoracic nerve.

Supplied Structures

The anterior ramus of the seventh cervical spinal nerve carries both sensory and motor innervation. The only structure supplied directly by a nerve of the anterior ramus of the seventh cervical nerve is the long thoracic nerve, which provides motor innervation to the serratus anterior muscle.

Broken down by nerve, the following structures are innervated by the seventh anterior ramus via the middle trunk of the brachial plexus.

—Lateral pectoral nerve supplies motor innervation of the pectoralis major muscles and, through the ansa pectoralis, a minor contribution to the pectoralis minor muscle.

—Musculocutaneous nerve supplies sensory to skin of the lateral forearm and motor innervation to the muscles of the anterior compartment of the arm.

—Median nerve supplies sensory to skin of the lateral palmar surface of the hand and finger tips and all intrinsic muscles of the hand and forearm flexors not innervated by the ulnar nerve.

—Thoracodorsal nerve supplies motor innervation of the latissimus dorsi muscle.

—Radial nerve supplies sensory to skin of the posterolateral arm, posterior forearm, and posterolateral hand and motor innervation to the muscles of the posterior compartment of the arm and forearm.

The anterior ramus of the seventh cervical nerve may also have minor contributions to the following structures via the posterior division of the middle trunk of the brachial plexus:

—upper subscapular nerve supplies motor innervation of the subscapularis muscle;

—lower subscapular nerve supplies motor innervation of the subscapularis muscle.

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