May 11, 2023
The upper limb is the region of the body that includes the arm, forearm, wrist, and hand. The bones of the upper limb include the clavicle, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges. The upper limb is attached to the axial skeleton at the sternoclavicular joint.
Read this blog further to get a quick overview of this important topic for anatomy preparation and ace your NEET PG/NExT exam preparation.
The muscles of the upper limb can be classified into different categories based on their location, action, and function. Here are some of the main categories of muscles in the upper limb:
Overall, the muscles of the upper limb work together to produce a wide range of movements and provide stability and fine motor control for the arm, forearm, wrist, and hand.
The upper limb is supplied by a network of blood vessels that originate from the subclavian artery, which is a major artery that arises from the aortic arch. The subclavian artery gives rise to three main branches that supply blood to the upper limb:
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The veins of the upper limb can be divided into superficial and deep veins. The superficial veins are located just below the skin and drain into the deep veins, which are located deeper in the tissue. The deep veins of the upper limb follow the same course as the arteries and have the same names. The veins of the upper limb ultimately drain into the axillary vein, which then becomes the subclavian vein.
The main superficial veins of the upper limb include the cephalic vein, which runs along the lateral aspect of the arm, and the basilic vein, which runs along the medial aspect of the arm. These two veins unite in the region of the elbow to form the median cubital vein, which is commonly used for drawing blood.
The lymphatic system of the upper limb is an important part of the immune system and plays a crucial role in defending the body against infection. The lymphatic vessels of the upper limb drain into lymph nodes located in the axilla region. The axillary lymph nodes are grouped into three levels: level I is located along the lateral border of the pectoralis minor muscle, level II is located deep to the pectoralis minor muscle, and level III is located along the subclavian vein.
The lymphatic vessels from the hand and fingers drain into the lymph nodes in the axilla region via the superficial and deep lymphatic vessels. The lymphatic vessels from the forearm, arm, and shoulder also drain into the axillary lymph nodes, but they also receive drainage from the lymph nodes in the cervical and supraclavicular regions.
In summary, the venous drainage of the upper limb is important for carrying deoxygenated blood back to the heart, while the lymphatic drainage is important for removing waste products and defending the body against infection.
The nerves that innervate the upper limb originate from the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that arises from the spinal cord at the level of the fifth cervical vertebra (C5) to the first thoracic vertebra (T1). The brachial plexus gives rise to five major nerves that innervate the upper limb:
The nerves of the upper limb provide both motor and sensory innervation. In addition to controlling muscle movements, these nerves also transmit sensory information, such as touch, temperature, and pain, from the skin and other tissues of the upper limb back to the spinal cord and brain.
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