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Neurovasculature of the hand: want to learn more about it?

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Neurovasculature of the hand

Learning objectives:

After going through this study unit, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the main vessels of the hand and their supply areas.
  2. Name the nerves of the hand and become familiar with their origin.

Watch video

The arteries of the hand arise from the radial and ulnar arteries which form two arches (superficial and deep) that supply its digits, muscles and joints. The venous drainage mainly follows the arterial supply draining blood into the ulnar and radial veins, however it is augmented by an extensive dorsal venous network that carries the blood towards the basilic and cephalic veins of the forearm. The median and ulnar nerves innervate the muscles of the hand; the cutaneous supply also comes from these nerves as well as the radial nerve.

The following video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the arteries, veins, and nerves of the hand.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the video about the neurovasculature of the hand, solidify your knowledge by taking our quiz.

Or test your knowledge on the ‘bigger picture’ using this fully customizable quiz for a broader examination of the neurovasculature of the upper limb:

Browse atlas

Revise everything that you have learned by analyzing each structure of the neurovasculature of the hand through our atlas gallery:


Key points about neurovasculature of the hand
Nerves of the hand Median nerve: Palmar branch, recurrent branch, common palmar digital branches, proper palmar digital branches
Ulnar nerve
: Dorsal digital branches, palmar branch, superficial branch (common palmar digital nerves and proper palmar digital nerves), deep branch
Radial nerve
: Superficial branch (dorsal digital branches)
Muscular innervation Median nerve: Thenar muscles and lumbrical muscles (1st & 2nd)
Ulnar nerve: Hypothenar, interossei muscles and lumbricals (3rd & 4th)
Cutaneous innervation Median nerve: Lateral ⅔ of palm; palmar surface and dorsal distal ⅓ of lateral 3 ½ digits
Ulnar nerve
: Medial ⅓ of palm; palmar/dorsal surfaces of medial 1 ½ digits
Radial nerve
: Lateral ⅔ of dorsum of hand; dorsal proximal ⅔ of lateral 3 ½ digits
Arteries of the hand Radial artery: Palmar carpal branch, dorsal carpal branch, superficial palmar branches, deep palmar arch, dorsal metacarpal arteries, princeps pollicis artery, radialis indicis artery
Ulnar artery
: Dorsal carpal branch, palmar carpal branch, deep carpal branch, superficial palmar arch, common palmar digital arteries, proper palmar digital arteries
Veins of the hand (tributaries) Cephalic vein: Dorsal venous network, lateral dorsal metacarpal veins, dorsal digital veins
Basilic vein
: Dorsal venous network, medial metacarpal veins, dorsal digital veins
Radial vein
: Deep venous palmar arch, palmar metacarpal veins
Ulnar vein
: Superficial venous palmar arch, common palmar digital veins

Well done!

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