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Arteries of the Shoulder and the Upper Extremity

ARTERIES OF THE SHOULDER AND THE UPPER EXTREMITY ANATOMY

Developing from the aortic arch, the left subclavian artery and the right subclavian artery via the brachiocephalic trunk passes laterally well into the depths of the clavicle. This permits blood to reach the arm. Just above the medial section of the clavicle the heart’s pulsations can be felt through the skin via the subclavian artery.

ARTERIES OF THE SHOULDER AND THE UPPER EXTREMITY FUNCTIONS

The vertebral artery branches from the subclavian artery ready to supply the brain with blood. A small branch known as the thyrocervical trunk provides the trachea, thyroid gland, and larynx with the appropriate blood supply. From there, an internal thoracic artery extends downward into the thorax providing for the pericardium, thoracic wall, and the thymus. Posterior neck muscles, spinal cord, the meninges of the spinal cord, and the inter-costal muscles receive their blood supply from costocervical trunk.

The muscles and tissues, including the mammary glands of the anterior thorax are well serviced by a branch off the internal thoracic artery. The axillary region is served by the axillary artery which is a continuation of the subclavian artery. The axillary artery is defined as the segment of the major artery of the arm that is positioned between the outside edge of the first rib and the lower edge of the teres major muscle.

ARTERIES OF THE SHOULDER AND THE UPPER EXTREMITY DIAGRAM

Arteries of the Shoulder
Image: Arteries Of The Shoulder


This artery creates numerous small branches which feed the tissue related to the shoulder and upper thorax area. Continuing the axillary artery brachial artery takes over in the brachial area, extending medially down along the humerus. This is the most appropriate location for medical assessment of blood pressure. The triceps brachii muscle is fed by the branch of the brachial artery which runs deep into the tissue from the main brachial artery.

ARTERIES OF THE SHOULDER AND THE UPPER EXTREMITY FACTS

The anterior and posterior circumflex arteries break off from the brachial artery to feed the proximal section of the humerus, creating a continuous foundation circle of vessels. The radial and ulna arteries are also additional branches of the brachial artery which feed the forearm as well as some of the hand and fingers. Various smaller branches radiate from the radial artery to feed the muscle tissue associated with the forearm, breaking off from the main artery which runs along the lateral side of the arm.

Between the radial and ulna arteries locked deep within the antebrachium lies the anterior interosseous. The first branch off the radial artery supplies the area of the elbow. This is also the largest of the branches from the radial artery and is known as the radial recurrent. The radial artery serves as an appropriate place for feeling the heart pulsations through the skin.
Arteries of the upper
Image: Arteries Of The Upper


Various smaller branches extend off the ulna artery to supply the muscles of the forearms on the medial side. Just like the radial artery, the ulna artery has the first large branch extending from it known as the ulnar recurrent artery. The branch of the ulnar recurrent artery begins just off the site of the elbow. Where the ulna and the radius conjoin into the wrist, the arteries serving both of these segments also anastomose.


This process then forms what is known as the superficial and deep palmar arches. From the deep palmar arches the metacarpal arteries of the hand spread out into their own tubular network. Alternatively, the tubular network which feeds the fingers, known as digital arteries, branch off from the superficial palmar arch.



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