EN | DE | PT Contact How to study Login Register

Elbow and Forearm - want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

Sign up for your free Kenhub account today and join over 1,128,267 successful anatomy students.

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Elbow and Forearm

Forearm - anterior viewExtending from the wrist to the elbow joint is the region of the upper extremity called the forearm (antebrachium). The forearm helps the shoulder and the arm in force application and the precise placement of the hand in space, with the help of the elbow and radioulnar joints.

This article is a guide to help you master the anatomy of the forearm and the elbow joint, using the beautiful content of Kenhub.

Forearm Anatomy

Bones

Diagram showing the bones and ligaments of the forearm

The forearm consists of two long bones; the radius and the ulna. The ulna is located medially and is both longer and larger than the radius, which runs parallel to it laterally. These two bones are held together by the intervening interosseous membrane.

These forearm bones articulate with each other in two locations. The head of the radius forms a joint with the radial notch of the ulna proximally (proximal radioulnar joint), while the head of the ulna forms a joint with the ulnar notch of the radius distally (distal radioulnar joint). Alongside the humeroradial joint, the two radio-ulnar joints allow the pronation and supination movements of the forearm.

Want to strengthen your knowledge on the bones of the forearm? Make sure to watch our comprehensive video tutorial and take our interactive quiz!
 

Muscles

Just like the upper arm, the forearm is divided into two compartments by deep fascia; the interosseous membrane, and the fibrous intermuscular septa. This creates an anterior compartment that contains the flexor muscles, and a posterior one that contains the extensor muscles.

Extensors of the Forearm

Residing in the posterior compartment of the forearm, the extensor muscles can be further divided into superficial and deep extensors.

Diagram of the forearm extensors

Superficial extensors consist of seven muscles; brachioradialis, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor digitorum, extensor digiti minimi, extensor carpi ulnaris, and the anconeus.

Deep extensors include five muscles; supinator, abductor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor pollicis longus, and extensor indicis.
This sound like a lot, right? Don’t worry, we have you covered with our comprehensive video tutorials and articles. Also, don’t forget to take our muscles of the forearm quiz to test and reinforce your information.

Flexors of the Forearm

Diagram of the forearm flexors

As seen in this forearm muscles diagram, the flexor muscles reside in the anterior compartment of the forearm, and are separated into the three following layers:

  • Superficial layer: flexor carpi ulnaris, palmaris longus, flexor carpi radialis, and pronator teres.
  • Intermediate layer: flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus, and flexor pollicis longus.
  • Deep layer: pronator quadratus.

Nothing makes the anatomy of the forearm flexors fun and easy-to-learn like our video tutorials, quizzes, and articles. Don’t miss checking them out!

Elbow Anatomy

Review of the elbow joint

The elbow joint is a synovial joint that connects the upper arm and the forearm, providing 150 ْ of extension-flexion movement. It consists of three joints; the humeroulnar joint, the humeroradial joint, and the proximal radioulnar joint, all within one articular capsule!

The elbow joint is supported by three ligaments: 

  • The annular ligament
  • The radial collateral ligament
  • The ulnar collateral ligament
Key Facts about Elbow Joint
Type Hinge joint
Bones Humerus, radius, ulna
Ligaments Ulnar collateral, radial collateral, annular, quadrate ligaments
Blood supply Proximal to elbow joint - ulnar collateral, radial collateral, middle collateral arteries
Distal to elbow joint - radial recurrent, ulnar recurrent arteries
Movements Flexion - biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis muscles
Extension - triceps brachii muscle
Clinical Fractures, epicondylitis, arthritis, venipunctures

Watching our video and taking our quizzes on the elbow joint will guarantee you an all-inclusive understanding of this topic.

Learn more about the bones, joints, muscles, nerves and vessels of the forearm with this specially designed quiz that covers it all!

Video tutorials

Quizzes

Elbow and Forearm - want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

Sign up for your free Kenhub account today and join over 1,128,267 successful anatomy students.

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Show references

Article, review and layout:

  • Sami Dai
  • Nicola McLaren
  • Jana Vasković

Illustrations:

  • Forearm - anterior view - Yousun Koh
  • Forearm bones & ligaments - review - Mohammed Albakkar
  • Forearm extensor muscles - review - Johannes Reiss
  • Forearm flexor muscles - review - Johannes Reiss
  • Elbow joint - review - Mohammed Albakkar
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Related diagrams and images

Continue your learning

Read more articles

Show 11 more articles

Watch videos

Take a quiz

Browse atlas

Well done!

Register now and grab your free ultimate anatomy study guide!