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Anterior interosseous nerve

Anterior interosseous nerve
File:Nerves of the left upper extremity.gif
Nerves of the left upper extremity. (Volar interosseus labeled at center right.)
Deep palmar nerves. (Volar interosseous labeled at center top.)
Latin nervus interosseus antebrachii anterior
Median nerve
Gray's p.938
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Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The anterior interosseous nerve (volar interosseous nerve) is a branch of the median nerve that supplies the deep muscles on the anterior of the forearm, except the ulnar (medial) half of the flexor digitorum profundus.

It accompanies the anterior interosseous artery along the anterior of the interosseous membrane of the forearm, in the interval between the flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum profundus, supplying the whole of the former and (most commonly) the radial half of the latter, and ending below in the pronator quadratus and wrist joint.

Many texts, for simplicity's sake, consider this nerve part of the median nerve.

Note that the median nerve supplies all flexor muscles of the forearm except for the ulnar half of flexor digitorum profundus and flexor carpi ulnaris, which is a superficial muscle of the forearm.


The anterior interosseous nerve classically innervates 2.5 muscles:

These muscles are in the deep level of the anterior compartment of the forearm.


A branch of the median nerve, the anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) can be affected by either direct penetrating injury or compression in a fashion similar to carpal tunnel syndrome. The compression neuropathy is referred to an Anterior Interosseous Syndrome. As might be expected, the symptoms involve weakness in the muscle innervated by the AIN including the flexor digitorum profundus muscle to the index (and sometimes the middle) finger, the flexor pollicis longus muscle to the thumb and the pronator quadratus of the distal forearm. As opposed to carpal tunnel syndrome, the AIN has no sensory fibers and therefore no numbness associated with the Anterior Interosseous Syndrome. Non-surgical treatment consists of splinting, proximal tissue massage and anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgical treatment consists of releasing the compression on the nerve from surrounding structures. Pronator Syndrome is similar, but involves both the AIN as well as the median nerve proper.

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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