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Forearm

German: Unterarm

1 Definition

The forearm is the part of the upper limb that lies distal to the elbow. Further distal, the wrist forms the boundary to the hand.

2 Bones

The bones of the forearm are radius and ulna which are connected by ligaments, most importantly by the anular ligament (orbicular ligament) and the interosseous membrane of the forearm.

3 Muscles

The muscles of the forearm encompass the flexors on the palmar side and the extensors on the radial and dorsal sides. Many of those muscles not only move the forearm at the elbow joint but also move the fingers.

3.1 Extensors (posterior compartment)

Radial group

Dorsal group, superficial layer

Dorsal group, deep layer

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3.2 Flexors (anterior compartment)

Superficial layer

Deep layer

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4 Arteries

The blood for the forearm is mainly provided by the brachial artery which comes from the upper arm. In the cubital fossa, the brachial artery splits up into two branches which continue to the hand on the radial and ulnar sides respectively:

5 Nerves

The muscles of the forearm are mainly innervated by the radial, median and ulnar nerves from the brachial plexus.

6 Physiology

The forearm can be moved along one axis at the elbow joint. Additionally, the hand can be pronated and supinated about 180° by movement of the radius and ulna against each other.

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