Forearm

The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the elbow and the wrist.[1] The term forearm is used in anatomy to distinguish it from the arm, a word which is most often used to describe the entire appendage of the upper limb, but which in anatomy, technically, means only the region of the upper arm, whereas the lower "arm" is called the forearm. It is homologous to the region of the leg that lies between the knee and the ankle joints, the crus.

Forearm
The forearm is highlighted in magenta
Details
Identifiers
Latinantebrachium
MeSHD005542
TA98A01.1.00.024
TA2146
FMA9663
Anatomical terminology

The forearm contains two long bones, the radius and the ulna,[2] forming the two radioulnar joints. The interosseous membrane connects these bones. Ultimately, the forearm is covered by skin, the anterior surface usually being less hairy than the posterior surface.

The forearm contains many muscles, including the flexors and extensors of the wrist, flexors and extensors of the digits, a flexor of the elbow (brachioradialis), and pronators and supinators that turn the hand to face down or upwards, respectively. In cross-section, the forearm can be divided into two fascial compartments. The posterior compartment contains the extensors of the hands, which are supplied by the radial nerve. The anterior compartment contains the flexors and is mainly supplied by the median nerve. The flexor muscles are more massive than the extensors because they work against gravity and act as anti-gravity muscles. The ulnar nerve also runs the length of the forearm.[3]

The radial and ulnar arteries and their branches supply the blood to the forearm. These usually run on the anterior face of the radius and ulna down the whole forearm. The main superficial veins of the forearm are the cephalic, median antebrachial and the basilic vein. These veins can be used for cannularisation or venipuncture, although the cubital fossa is a preferred site for getting blood.


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