Distribution patterns of the superficial branch of the radial nerve in the back of the human hand

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022013000300013
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Tiznado, G.; Olave, E. & Sousa-Rodrigues, C.

Summary

The sensory innervation of the dorsum of the hand is usually given by the superficial branch of radial nerve (SBRN) and the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve (DBUN). In order to obtaining a detailed description of the origin, course, distribution and the branching of the SBRN, and also to develop a patterning of the emergence of dorsal digital nerves of the hand, we made a dissection study on dissection of cadaver specimens, 36 hands, 30 adult Brazilians and 6 Chileans. The SBRN became superficial at a distance of 89,4 ± 12,1 mm proximal to the level of styloid process of the radius (SPR) and it branched in a ventral and dorsal branch at a distance of 57,6 ± 17,8 mm proximal to the level of SPR. Later the dorsal branch of SBRN branched in a radial and ulnar branch at a distance of 4,9 ± 14,7 mm proximal to the level of SPR. It was performed a classification of four pattern, according to the source of the dorsal digital nerves provided by the main branches of SBRN. The pattern I was present in 75% of the cases, while the pattern II was found in 13,89%, patterns III and IV were observed in 5,56% of the samples, respectively. It was observed a communication between SBRN and DBUN in 58,3% of the samples. Knowledge of the arrangement of the sensitive dorsal branches is of great importance to the surgical anatomy of the dorsal region of the wrist and hand, where procedures are conducted, that could jeopardize the nerve and its branches.

KEY WORDS: Anatomy; Hand; Radial nerve; Superficial branch

How to cite this article

TIZNADO, G.; OLAVE, E. & SOUSA-RODRIGUES, C. Distribution patterns of the superficial branch of the radial nerve in the back of the human hand. Int. J. Morphol., 31(3):857-863, 2013.