The brachial plexus is a network of nerve fibres that gives the skin and also musculature the the top limb. It begins in the root of the neck, passes with the axilla, and also runs through the whole upper extremity.

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The plexus is formed by the anterior rami (divisions) that cervical spinal nerves C5, C6, C7 and also C8, and also the first thoracic spinal nerve, T1.

In this article, we shall look at the anatomy that the brachial plexus – its formation and anatomical course with the body.

The brachial plexus is split into 5 parts; roots, trunks, divisions, cords and also branches (a good mnemonic for this is Read That Damn Cadaver Book). There room no practical differences in between these divisions – they are simply used to aid explanation of the brachial plexus.


The ‘roots’ refer the anterior rami that the spinal nerves that consist of the brachial plexus. These room the anterior rami the spinal nerves C5, C6, C7, C8, and also T1.

At every vertebral level, paired spinal nerves arise. They leave the spinal cord via the intervertebral foramina of the vertebral column.

Each spinal nerve climate divides into an anterior and also a posterior ramus. The roots of the brachial plexus are formed by the anterior rami of spinal nerves C5-T1 (the posterior departments innervate the skin and also musculature of the intrinsic back muscles).

After your formation, these nerves pass between the anterior and medial scalene muscles to enter the basic of the neck.


Fig 1 – Proximal portion of the brachial plexus, in the neck.


Fig 2 – The spinal cord outflow at every vertebral level. The anterior rami the vertebral levels C5-C8 and T1 comprise the root of the brachial plexus.

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Fig 3 – Diagrammatic depiction of the brachial plexus. For simplicity, the smaller sized branches that the brachial plexus room not shown. The posterior departments are displayed in yellow, and anterior divisions in black.