ORIGIN: Medial and lateral cords of brachial plexus 

COURSE/DISTRIBUTION: Lateral head of median nerve arises from the lateral cord; medial head comes from the medial cord of brachial plexus. The median nerve enters the upper arm anterolateral to the brachial artery. It reaches the cubital fossa medial to the brachial artery and passes in the midline of the cubital fossa. It then descends into the forearm by passing between the two heads of the pronator teres. It enters the palm by passing through the carpal tunnel and breaks into the terminal branches.

BRANCHES. No branches in the axilla, or arm. It provides muscular branches in the forearm.

bulletAnterior interosseous nerve
bulletMuscular branch to thenar muscles
bulletProper digital nerves to the thumb
bulletProper digital nerve to index finger
bulletCommon digital nerve to index and middle fingers
bulletCommon digital nerve to middle and ring fingers

Branches below the wrist are six as follows


Branch to thenar eminence muscles


Proper digital nerve to the lateral side of the thumb


Common digital nerve to the contiguous sides of the thumb and lateral wall of the index finger


Common digital nerve to contiguous sides of the index finger and middle. They will divide into proper digital nerve to supply these contiguous sides just like the arterial arches.


Common digital nerve to contiguous sides of the ring and middle fingers. They will divide into proper digital nerves that will supplies the contiguous sides of these fingers.


Sometimes you have a sixth branch which is not constant. The first or second branch may supply the lateral two lumbricals.

Hence it supplies the so called LOAF muscles in the palm as follows L-lateral2 lumbricals, (the rest are muscles of the thenar eminence) O- oppones pollicis A- abductor pollicis brevis F- flexor pollicis



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Electronic School of Medicine
Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti

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Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti