The radial sensory nerve: An anatomic study

D. M. Auerbach, E. D. Collins, K. L. Kunkle, E. H. Monsanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The superficial branch of the radial nerve was dissected using loupe magnification in 20 cadaver forearms. The nerve was found to arise between the tendons of the branchioradialis and extensor carpi radialis longus 8.6 cm proximal to the radial styloid, piercing the forearm fascia 6.0 cm from the radial styloid. An average of 5.8 branches crossed the wrist joint. Innervation to the dorsum of the digits was variable, with 45% of specimens innervating the radial 2 1/2 digits and 30% innervating the radial 3 1/2 digits. Sixteen specimens had branches directly overlying the typical transverse incision for De Quervain's release and 12 specimens had branches directly overlying the 3-4 wrist arthroscopy portal. An appreciation for the location of the superficial radial nerve in the forearm, the variation of its digital innervation, and the proximity of branches to commonly used surgical incisions is important when performing surgical procedures over the dorsum of the hand and wrist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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