Surface Anatomy of the Upper Limbs

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:01 In this topic, we're going to look at the surface anatomy and then, the osteology of the upper limb.

    00:09 So, first of all, let's just orientate ourselves and here, we have the anterior surface of the right upper limb, all the way from the shoulder, down to the hand.

    00:20 And there are a number of regions that extend from the shoulder as part of the upper limb.

    00:25 We have the shoulder region up on the top right-hand side of the screen.

    00:29 And then, we extend more distally down through the arm or as some textbooks may refer to the brachium.

    00:35 We then, have the forearm, the antebrachium. And then, most distally, we have the hand.

    00:41 So, we have some very typical features there and divisions, regions of the upper limb.

    00:46 Within these regions, we can actually see some definition on the surface of the skin where the underlying muscles are prominent.

    00:53 So, we can see the deltoid region up here as part of the shoulder where deltoid is situated.

    00:58 We also have a flap of skin here or fold and this is known as the anterior auxiliary fold.

    01:05 It's the anterior margin of the axilla or the armpit. And there, we have the armpit called the axillary fossa.

    01:14 Here, we have a bulge on the prominent anterior aspect of the arm. This is biceps, brachii.

    01:21 And here, we have the posterior surface and we'll see when we turn the arm around, we have triceps brachii.

    01:27 Extending distally onto the forearm, we have brachioradialis muscle.

    01:31 And then, sometimes, you can pick out the various flexors that are passing from the forearm, into the hand, and these are the flexor tendons that go to the hand.

    01:40 We then, see various aspects to do with the hand, both the thenar eminence, the muscle pad associated with the thumb and the hypothenar eminence, more associated with the little finger which we can see here.

    01:52 Then, just for completion, we can add the various fingers that form the most distal portion of the hand.

    02:00 So, various landmarks you can see there with the muscles protruding and bulging onto the surface of the skin.

    02:07 If we look at the posterior view of the upper limb, and this time, we're looking at the left upper limb, so, the posterior aspect of the left upper limb, we can see again, we have the deltoid region with deltoid being prominent.

    02:19 We have the bulges of triceps, brachii that are passing down towards the forearm.

    02:24 And here, once we saw on the anterior surface but now, we can see brachioradialis muscle and we can see a bony protuberance which is the olecranon and that's important when we look at the elbow joint later on.

    02:36 We can also see various other bony prominences that are important to distinguish as we look at the surface anatomy. We have the styloid process which is part of the radius and the styloid process that's part of the ulnar on both the lateral and medial margins at the wrist joint.

    02:52 We then, see the dorsum of the hand, and again, we can see some elevations which the various extensor digits that are passing all the way to the fingers.

    03:01 And these are coming from various extensor muscles within the forearm.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Surface Anatomy of the Upper Limbs by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Osteology and Surface Anatomy of the Upper Limbs.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Radius
    2. Humerus
    3. Ulna
    4. Tibia
    5. Fibula

    Author of lecture Surface Anatomy of the Upper Limbs

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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