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Anatomy of the arm
Anatomy of the axilla
Anatomy of the brachial plexus
Anatomy of the elbow joint
Anatomy of the glenohumeral joint
Anatomy of the pectoral and scapular regions
Anatomy of the radioulnar joints
Anatomy of the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints
Bones of the upper limb
Fascia, vessels and nerves of the upper limb
Joints of the wrist and hand
Muscles of the forearm
Muscles of the hand
Vessels and nerves of the forearm
Vessels and nerves of the hand
Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm
Anatomy clinical correlates: Axilla
Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder
Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves
Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Nerve Palsies - Median Claw
Nerve Palsies - OK Gesture
Nerve Palsies - Pope's Blessing
Nerve Palsies - Ulnar Claw
The median, ulnar and radial nerves course through the forearm and wrist, and they help coordinate the movement of our forearms and hands.
These nerves, however, are prone to injury because of various causes, and depending on which one of them is injured, that will result in characteristic symptoms that can help us recognize and identify it.
For the median nerve, the clinical manifestations depend on whether the lesion has occurred distally, as in carpal tunnel syndrome, or proximally, as in an anteriorly displaced portion of a medial supracondylar humerus fracture.
The most common cause of median nerve injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is when the tunnel in the wrist through which the median nerve passes becomes narrower and compresses the median nerve.
This can happen due to repetitive use, like typing on a keyboard, injuries like an anterior lunate dislocation, or associated with conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, or in pregnancy.
Symptoms of median nerve injury would be pain and paraesthesia in the radial 3 and a half digits, weakness of the first and second lumbrical, thenar atrophy, and weakness of thumb abduction and opposition of the affected hand.
Specifically, the recurrent branch of the median nerve is what provides motor innervation to the thenar muscles of the hand, which are responsible for abduction, flexion and opposition, so with injuries, people may have issues opposing the thumb, and it may be difficult to perform actions like buttoning up a shirt.
Damage to the recurrent branch of the median nerve alone causes what is known as ‘ape hand’, which refers to atrophy of the thenar eminence and inability to oppose the thumb..
Damage to the entire median nerve at the level or the wrist, or distal median nerve, presents clinically as a “median claw”.
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