Cubital Fossa

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:01 So, I've mentioned it a few times in the preceding sections. Now, let's look at the cubital fossa.

    00:06 So, the cubital fossa is an important space that's located directly anterior to the elbow joint.

    00:13 It's an important space as it has a number of structures passing through it, passing form the forearm to the arm and from the arm to the forearm.

    00:22 So, let's have a look at it in slightly more detail.

    00:25 Here, as you may remember from the subcutaneous blood vessels lecture, we can see some important structures, some important venous structures that are sitting very superficially.

    00:35 And these form very much part of that superficial aspect of the cubital fossa.

    00:39 But let's have a look at its boundaries first of all. So, the cubital fossa is a triangular-shaped space.

    00:46 We can see laterally, it has brachioradialis muscle. And then, more medially, it has pronator teres.

    00:54 These are muscles which we'll come to see in a later lecture.

    00:57 Superiorly, there is an imaginary horizontal line that is connecting the two epicondyles of the humerus, so, the medial and lateral epicondyles.

    01:06 We saw this when we looked at the bifurcation of the brachial artery into its radial and ulna parts.

    01:12 So, the boundaries of the cubital fossa. Laterally, brachioradialis.

    01:16 Medially, pronator teres and superiorly, we have a horizontal line, an imaginary line between the two epicondyles.

    01:25 So, another important boundary is the floor which we can see formed by brachialis muscle.

    01:31 We can see its tendon there highlighted in green.

    01:34 And also, another muscle, supinator which is important in supinating the forearm.

    01:38 So, these form the floor of the cubital fossa.

    01:41 We have brachioradialis forming the lateral boundary and pronator teres forming the medial boundary.

    01:48 Now, what do we find inside the cubital fossa? Well, we find the tendon of biceps brachii, so, now, laying on top of brachialis muscle, we can see biceps brachii.

    01:59 And then, medial to it, we have the brachial artery. And then, medial to it again, we have the median nerve.

    02:06 So, from lateral to medial, we have TAN, the tendon of biceps brachii, the brachial artery, and the median nerve.

    02:15 So, it's three important structures, a tendon, an artery, and a nerve.

    02:20 Well, we also find located within the cubital fossa but more distally within the cubital fossa is the radial artery and the radial nerve and we'll look at those in more detail later on.

    02:30 Run alongside the lateral aspects of the cubital fossa, we find the radial nerve as you'd expect.

    02:36 But we do not find the ulnar nerve. That doesn't pass through the cubital fossa.

    02:41 That passes more posteriorly and again, we'll come to that later on.

    02:45 So, the ulnar nerve is not within the cubital fossa.

    02:48 We then, have the roof of the cubital fossa and that's formed by the bicipital aponeurosis.

    02:53 So, the biceps tendon, its main substance is going to the radial tuberosity.

    02:57 Whereas the sheet-like aponeurosis, the bicipital aponeurosis, this flat tendon forms the roof over the cubital fossa as it forms part of the antebrachial fascia.

    03:09 Most superficially again, we mentioned these at the beginning, we have some venous structures.

    03:14 So, we have the median cubital vein. That is running across the cubital fossa, along the roof of the cubital fossa where it's being formed by the cephalic and the basilic vein.

    03:24 And again, we looked at that in the subcutaneous blood supply lecture previously.

    03:29 So, we have some venous structures passing across the cubital fossa and this is an important site for venipuncture.

    03:36 Also, running alongside this aspect, we have various cutaneous nerves that are taking sensory information away from the surface of the cubital fossa, the elbow, and the surrounding regions.

    03:47 And these are taking sensation back by those cutaneous nerves.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cubital Fossa by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Anatomy of the Arm.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Median nerve, brachial artery, and bicipital tendon
    2. Bicipital tendon, brachial artery, and median nerve
    3. Bicipital tendon, median nerve, and brachial artery
    4. Brachial artery, bicipital tendon, and median nerve
    5. Median nerve, bicipital tendon, and brachial artery
    1. Median cubital vein
    2. Axillary vein
    3. Cephalic vein
    4. Basilic vein
    5. Ulnar vein
    1. Pronator teres muscle
    2. Brachioradialis muscle
    3. Median nerve
    4. Ulnar nerve
    5. Brachial artery

    Author of lecture Cubital Fossa

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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