Updated: 2/14/2020

Radial Nerve

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Innervation
  • Motor
    • radial nerve proper
      • triceps
      • anconeus
      • ECRL
      • ECRB
      • supinator
      • brachioradialis
    • PIN
      • ED
      • EDM
      • ECU
      • APL
      • EPL
      • EPB
      • EIP
  • Sensory
    • posterior cutaneous nerve arm
    • posterior cutaneous nerve - forearm
    • superficial branch radial nerve
    • dorsal digital branch
Origin
  • Radial nerve originates from the posterior cord of the brachial plexus (C5-T1)
    • behind axillary artery
Course
  • Posterior wall axilla 
    • courses on the posterior wall of the axilla (on subscapularis, latissimus dorsi, teres major)
    • 3 Branches in axilla
      • posterior cutaneous nerve of the arm
      • branch to long head of triceps
      • branch to medial head of triceps
  • Triangular interval
    • it then runs through the triangular interval with profunda brachii artery in posterior compartment between long head of triceps and humerus
  • Spiral groove
    • next it courses through the spiral groove between lateral and medial heads of triceps
      • bottom line = Safe zone posteriorly of 10 cm distal to the lateral acromion and 10 cm proximal to lateral epicondyle
    • branches in spiral groove
      • inferior lateral cutaneous nerve of the arm
      • posterior cutaneous nerve of the forearm
      • branch to lateral head of triceps
      • branch to medial head of triceps and anconeus
  • Lateral intermuscular septa
    • next it passes through the lateral intermuscular septa never less than 7.5 cm above the distal articular surface.
    •  runs between brachialis and brachioradialis (anterior to lateral epicondyle)
      • gives branches to supply: lateral brachialis, brachioradialis, ECRL, ECRB
  • Terminal branches
    • level of radiohumeral joint line, divides into terminal branches
      • superficial sensory branch
      • Deep branch/PIN
      • ECRB branch
Injury & Clinical Conditions
  • PIN compression Syndrome
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome
  • Radial claw hand 
    • injury to the radial nerve with characteristic "claw" hand involving the loss of wrist extension and finger extension
 

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