Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Elsevier
Publish with us
Anterior Root of Third Cervical Nerve (Left)
Nervous System

Anterior Root of Third Cervical Nerve (Left)

Radix anterior nervi cervicalis tertii

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Anterolateral sulcus of spinal cord.

Course: Laterally towards the intervertebral foramen.

Branches: None.

Supply: Motor innervation to the infrahyoid and anterior prevertebral muscles, middle scalene, semispinalis capitis, longissimus capitis, and splenius capitis muscles.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Origin

The anterior root of the third cervical nerve forms from a series of rootlets that emerge from the anterolateral sulcus of the third cervical spinal segment.

Course

The anterior root of the third cervical nerve runs laterally and inferiorly away from the third cervical spinal segment towards the intervertebral foramen located between the axis (C2 vertebra) above and the third cervical vertebra below. Roughly within this intervertebral foramen, the anterior root merges with the posterior root to form the third cervical nerve.

Size and direction of the spinal roots vary. For instance, the upper cervical roots are short and run horizontally to exit the vertebral canal through the foramen.

Branches

The anterior root of the third cervical nerve merges with the posterior root to form the third cervical nerve and does so without branching.

Supplied Structures

The somatic motor efferents pass through the spinal nerve itself and into either the posterior ramus or the anterior ramus of the third cervical nerve.

Those passing through the anterior ramus contribute to the cervical plexus. It innervates the infrahyoid muscles (sternohyoid, sternothyroid and inferior belly of omohyoid) via the ansa cervicalis. Other muscles innervated include the anterior prevertebral muscles, including the longus capitis and longus colli, and lateral prevertebral muscles, including the middle scalene muscle.

Fibers that pass through the posterior ramus innervate semispinalis capitis, longissimus capitis, splenius capitis, and multifidus muscles.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Cervical Nerves

ScienceDirect image

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

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy