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Posterior Root of Third Lumbar Nerve
Nervous System

Posterior Root of Third Lumbar Nerve

Radix posterior nervi lumbalis tertii

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Quick Facts

Origin: In or just lateral to the intervertebral foramen below the third lumbar (L3) vertebra.

Course: Medially through the intervertebral foramen and superiorly towards the posterior surface of the appropriate spinal cord level.

Branches: Unnamed rootlets just prior to entering the spinal cord.

Supply: Sensory innervation from the skin of the lower back, medial thigh, and knee.

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Origin

The posterior root of the third lumbar nerve originates in, or just lateral, to the intervertebral foramen, inferior to the third lumbar (L3) vertebra. It is at this point that the third lumbar nerve splits into anterior and posterior roots.

Course

The posterior root of the third lumbar nerve runs medially through the intervertebral foramen. Inside the vertebral canal, it runs superiorly towards its corresponding spinal cord level. The posterior root runs behind the denticulate ligament and splits into smaller rootlets, before entering the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord.

Branches

The posterior root of the third lumbar nerve branches into several smaller rootlets before entering the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord.

Supplied Structures

The posterior root of the third lumbar nerve carries sensory information from the skin of the lower back, medial thigh, and knee

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The ileoinguinal nerve arises from the first lumbar nerve, giving branches to the obliquus internus muscle and to the skin covering the mons pubis and labia majora.

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