Anterior Interosseus Nerve

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Introduction

The anterior interosseous nerve, also known as the volar interosseous nerve, is a motor branch that comes off of the median nerve in the proximal forearm. Compression of this nerve can occur at various sites along its course in the forearm.

Structure & Origin

The anterior interosseous nerve branches off the median nerve in the proximal forearm, approximately 5-8cm distal to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, and is comprised of the C5-T1 spinal nerve roots.

Course

After branching off the median nerve in the proximal forearm, the anterior interosseous nerve courses distally between the two heads (superficial & deep) of the pronator teres muscle, deep to the flexor digitorum superficialis. It continues its descent along the anterior aspect of the interosseous membrane, between the flexor digitorum profundus and flexor pollicis longus muscles.

The anterior interossous nerve passes deep to the pronator quadratus muscle, terminating close to the wrist joint.

Branches & Supply

The anterior interosseous nerve provides motor innervation to the deep muscles in the anterior compartment of the forearm, including:

  • Flexor pollicis longus
  • Flexor digitorum profundus (lateral aspect only)
  • Pronator quadratus.

It also sends sensory branches to the carpals of the wrist however, it does not provide any cutaneous innervation.

Additionally, the anterior interosseous nerve sends articular branches to the distal radioulnar joint & wrist joint (anterior aspect).

Relations

As the anterior interosseous nerve descends along the anterior aspect of the interosseous membrane, it is accompanied by the anterior interosseous artery and correlating veins.

Anatomical Variants

Clinical Significance

Anterior Interosseous Nerve Syndrome

Anterior interosseous nerve syndrome refers to compression of the anterior interosseous nerve, which may occur along it's path in the anterior forearm. The most common location

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