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Neurovasculature of the arm and shoulder: want to learn more about it?

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Neurovasculature of the arm and shoulder

Learning objectives

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

  1. Identify the main arterial, venous and nervous sources that supply the arm and shoulder.
  2. List their main branches and tributaries.
  3. Visualize the course of these structures and anatomical relations that they form with one another.

Watch video

The neurovascular supply of the arm and shoulder is carried by three main structures and their respective branches and tributaries:

  • Axillary artery: Continuation of the subclavian artery which passes through and supplies the axilla before continuing as the brachial artery into the arm.
  • Axillary vein: Major vein of the upper limb formed by the union of the brachial and basilic veins. It also receives the cephalic vein of the arm.
  • Brachial plexus: The collateral and terminal branches of this plexus provide the shoulder and arm with motor and sensory supply.

This video tutorial will guide you through this topic in a comprehensive, yet easy to understand manner. Enjoy!

Take a quiz

So much information! Make it stick with this quiz below:

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Browse atlas

Ready to analyze these structures one by one? Take a look at the atlas gallery below:

Summary

Key facts about the neurovasculature of the arm and shoulder
Arteries Shoulder: Axillary artery (branches: thoracoacromial, subscapular, superior thoracic, lateral thoracic, anterior circumflex humeral, posterior circumflex humeral, brachial arteries)
Arm:
Brachial artery (Deep brachial, superior ulnar collateral, inferior ulnar collateral, radial, ulnar arteries)
Veins Shoulder: Axillary vein (thoracoacromial, subscapular, anterior circumflex humeral and posterior circumflex humeral veins)
Arm:
Brachial veins, basilic vein, cephalic vein
Nerves Shoulder: Suprascapular, superior subscapular, thoracodorsal (middle subscapular), inferior subscapular, axillary nerves (all arising from the brachial plexus); cutaneous supply via supraclavicular nerves (cervical plexus)
Arm:
Musculocutaneous, radial, ulnar, median nerves; cutaneous supply via medial, posterior, superior lateral and inferior lateral brachial cutaneous nerves

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