The extensor carpi radialis longus muscle (ECRLm) is located in the posterior compartment (extensor- supinator) of the forearm and has great importance in the closure of the hand. There are few biometric studies with respect to the point of origin of their branches of innervation, as well as on the distribution of them. For this study, 30 upper limbs, formalized, of Brazilian adult individuals were used, from the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Estadual de Ciencias da Saúde de Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil. After locating the nerve, we measured the distance between the origin of the primary branch and that of the motor points with respect to biepicondilar line (BEl), which were visualized and dissected using a magnifying glass. The nerve in question was observed at the level of the arm or proximal to BEl in 28 cases (93 %) and the remaining 2 at the level of this line (7 %). The branches for the ECRLm originated from the radial nerve, observing a primary branch in 20 limbs (80 %), and in the remaining 10 (20 %) two primary branches were observed, averaging 1.3 branches (SD 0.5 ). The most proximal origin of the first primary branch (PB) independent of whether there was 1 or 2 was on average 3 cm (SD 1.0) proximal to BEl. The most distal MP was distal to BEl in 24 cases with an average of 1.9 cm (SD 1.0); location at the BEl level in 3 cases. Only in 3 cases was the most distal MP found proximal to BEl, an average of 0.8 cm (SD 0.5). The distribution of motor points was variable, since many times the PB bifurcated into secondary branches and these, in turn, could divide up to 6 times in tertiary branches that penetrated in the muscle. The biometric knowledge of the origin of the nerve of the ECRLm, as well as its distribution, is an important contribution to the anatomo-surgical area, as well as its use in nerve blocks, nerve transfers and electrode placement areas for purposes of electrical stimulation in patients they need to rehabilitate the action of injured radial extensor musculature.
KEY WORDS: Anatomy; Radial nerve; Extensor carpi radialis longus muscle; Motor points.