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Superficial Branch of Radial Nerve
Nervous System

Superficial Branch of Radial Nerve

Ramus superficialis nervi radialis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Radial nerve (C6—C8).

Course: Descends in the posterior forearm. Passes underneath the brachioradialis tendon to reach the dorsum of hand.

Branches: Four dorsal digital branches.

Supply: Skin of dorsum of hand and proximal parts of the dorsal surfaces of the thumb, index finger, and lateral half of the middle finger.

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Origin

The radial nerve terminally divides into its two superficial and deep branches in the cubital fossa at the level of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. The superficial branch contains sensory nerve fibers from the C6—C8 cervical spinal segments.

Course

The superficial terminal branch runs inferiorly on the anterior aspect of the forearm. It is closely related to the radial artery at the middle one third of the forearm. In the upper one third, it is widely separated from the artery, while in the lower one third it passes backwards underneath the tendon of brachioradialis muscle and winds around the radial bone to reach the dorsum of the hand.

Branches

Upon reaching the dorsum of the hand, the superficial branch of the radial nerve divides into four dorsal digital branches.

Supplied Structures

The superficial terminal branch is purely cutaneous and is distributed to the lateral half of the dorsum of the hand and to the proximal parts of the dorsal surfaces of the thumb, index finger, and lateral half of the middle finger.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Radial Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The superficial radial nerve (SRN) is easily identified in the subcutaneous tissue above as it sweeps downward, crossing the fascia below (Figure 32.6).

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