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The anconeus muscle or musculus anconeus in Latin (‘anconeus’ meaning elbow) is a small triangular shaped muscle on the posterolateral surface of the elbow joint. It is the most medial of the seven superficial extensor muscles found in the posterior compartment of the forearm, the others being: extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor digiti minimi, extensor digitorum, extensor carpi radialis brevis and longus, and brachioradialis. The anconeus tends to blend in with the triceps brachii or extensor carpi ulnaris muscle at variable extents.
The anconeus originates from the back of the lateral condyle of the humerus by a separate tendon. Its muscle fibers diverge medially, and have a broad insertion point at the posterolateral aspect of the olecranon and the adjoining upper posteroir quarter of the ulna.
The posterior recurrent interosseous artery provides this muscle’s vascular supply through small deep musculocutaneous perforator branches. It arises from the posterior interosseous artery. On the other hand, the veins of the posterior compartment of the forearm, including the anconeus muscle, accompany their corresponding arteries. They drain into brachial veins in the cubital fossa.
The anconeus aids the triceps muscle in forearm extension by tensing the elbow joint capsule. It also controls ulnar abduction during forearm pronation. The radial nerve (C6, C6, and C8) innervates the anconeus along with the other remaining muscles in the posterior compartment of the forearm.
The anconeus muscle does not have any clinical value and therefore not tested. This is due to its minimal importance as a forearm extensor muscle when compared with the triceps brachii.
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