Brachial Plexus, Infraclavicular Exposure

  • Amgad S. Hanna


The infraclavicular brachial plexus includes the cords and the terminal branches. They correlate closely with the axillary artery. The posterior cord is formed by the junction of the posterior divisions of the three trunks; it first runs lateral and then posterior to the axillary artery. It gives off the thoracodorsal nerve (to latissimus dorsi muscle) and the upper (to subscapularis) and lower subscapular nerves (to subscapularis and teres major muscles). Terminal branches include the axillary and radial nerves. The lateral cord forms from the junction of the anterior divisions of the upper and middle trunks; it first runs anterior then lateral to the axillary artery. It gives off the lateral pectoral nerves. Terminal branches include the musculocutaneous nerve and the lateral contribution to the median nerve. The medial cord is the continuation of the anterior division of the lower trunk; it first runs posterior then medial to the axillary artery. It gives off the medial pectoral nerve, medial brachial cutaneous, and medial antebrachial cutaneous nerves. Terminal branches include the ulnar nerve and the medial contribution to the median nerve.


Median Nerve Radial Nerve Terminal Branch Axillary Artery Latissimus Dorsi Muscle 
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Supplementary material

Video 3.1

(MP4 544674 kb)


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    Arad E, Li Z, Sitzman T, Agur A, Clarke H (2014) Anatomic sites of origin of the suprascapular and lateral pectoral nerves within the brachial plexus. Plastic and reconstructive surgery 133(1): 20e–27eGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amgad S. Hanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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