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Anatomical snuff box

Definition, location, borders and structures of the anatomical snuff box.

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Hello again, everyone! This is Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will talk about the anatomical snuffbox.

The anatomical snuffbox is one of those anatomy mysteries that most students hear about and can usually identify but don’t really know what it’s actually all about. This tutorial focuses on clarifying any uncertainties about this topic in creating a solid block of information.

The anatomical snuffbox is located on the upper limb. More precisely, it is on the lateral side of the hand between the wrist and the thumb. Although not visible on every person, it is seen as a hollow indentation with the thumb is fully extended.

The reason behind its peculiar name is simple. Snuff can be placed there and inhaled. Were it to be named today rather than centuries ago, I’m sure it would be called after a substance rather less archaic and somewhat more harmful.

The anterior border is formed by the tendons of the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus, while the posterior border consists of the tendon of the extensor pollicis longus.

Proximally, the box is limited by the styloid process of the radius and distally by the rough apex of the snuffbox, known as the isosceles triangle.

The floor of the snuffbox varies according to the exact position of the wrist, but its structures usually include the scaphoid, the trapezium, and the base of the first metacarpal bone.

The structures that run together in the anatomical snuffbox include the cephalic vein, the radial artery, and the superficial radial nerve.

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