Brachial Plexus, Supraclavicular Exposure

  • Amgad S. Hanna


The supraclavicular brachial plexus includes the roots and the trunks. The brachial plexus is usually formed by the ventral rami of the spinal nerves from C5 to T1. Contribution is very common from C4 (prefixed) and uncommon from T2 (postfixed). It forms between the scalenus anterior and scalenus medius muscles and lies in the posterior triangle of the neck (bound by the sternocleidomastoid [SCM], the trapezius, and the clavicle). C5 and C6 join to make the upper trunk, C7 continues as the middle trunk, and C8 and T1 join to make the lower trunk. The suprascapular nerve (C5, C6) is the largest branch at the root/trunk level. It arises from the cranial aspect of the upper trunk, close to the divisions. The dorsal scapular nerve (to rhomboids and levator scapulae) comes off the C5 ventral ramus; the long thoracic nerve (to serratus anterior) comes off the C5, C6, and occasionally C7 ventral rami and usually runs through the scalenus medius muscle. The nerve to subclavius (C5, C6) comes off the upper trunk.


Brachial Plexus Posterior Border Accessory Nerve Brachial Plexus Injury Suprascapular Nerve 
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Supplementary material

Video 2.1

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  1. 1.
    Pellerin M, Kimball Z, Tubbs RS, Nguyen S, Matusz P, Cohen-Gadol AA, Loukas M (2010) The prefixed and postfixed brachial plexus: a review with surgical implications. Surg Radiol Anat 32(3):251–260CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amgad S. Hanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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