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Anconeus Muscle Anatomy | OrthoFixar 2024

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Anconeus Muscle Anatomy

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The anconeus muscle is a small, triangular muscle on the posterolateral aspect of the elbow, usually partially a continuation with the medial head of the triceps muscle.

Anconeus Muscle Anatomy

The Anconeus muscle origin is from the posterior surface of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, it inserts distally on the superior posterior surface of the ulna and the lateral aspect of the olecranon.

It gets its innervation from a branch of the radial nerve (cervical roots 7 and 8) from the posterior cord of the brachial plexus called the nerve to the anconeus.

See Also: Forearm Muscles Anatomy & Function

The blood supply is derived from the middle collateral artery from the profunda brachii artery.

The anconeus muscle assists the triceps in extending the forearm and tenses the capsule of the elbow joint, preventing its being pinched during extension. It is also said to exert an abducting force on the ulna during pronation of the forearm.

See Also: Elbow Anatomy
Anconeus Muscle
OriginLateral epicondyle of humerus
InsertionLateral surface of olecranon
Superior part of posterior surface of ulna
InnervationRadial nerve (C7, C8 and T1) (C7, C8, T1)
Blood SupplyMedial collateral artery
Recurrent posterior interosseous artery
Posterior branch of radial collateral artery
ActionAssists triceps in extending forearm (terminal 15° of extension and supination)
Stabilizes elbow joint
Abducts ulna during pronation

In a study involving 15 cadaveric specimens, the anconeus nerve was traced from its origin to its entry into the anconeus muscle. Initially, it runs between the lateral and medial heads of the triceps, then penetrates the medial head, continuing intramuscularly further distal. Upon exiting the muscle, the nerve lies on the periosteum and the articular capsule of the elbow before entering the anconeus muscle.

Two variations of the nerve were identified regarding its branches to the triceps: nine nerves also innervated the lateral triceps head, while the remaining six only provided two branches for innervation. Understanding the anconeus nerve’s pathway is crucial for its use as a donor nerve and for protecting it during surgical procedures on the elbow.

References & More

  1. Clinically Oriented Anatomy – 8th Edition
  2. Clinical Anatomy by Regions, Richard S. Snell.
  3. Pereira BP. Revisiting the anatomy and biomechanics of the anconeus muscle and its role in elbow stability. Ann Anat. 2013 Jul;195(4):365-370. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22874649. Pubmed
  4. Maniglio M, Zaidenberg EE, Martinez EF, Zaidenberg CR. The anatomy of the anconeus nerve redefined. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2022 Apr;47(4):410-414. doi: 10.1177/17531934211061437. Epub 2021 Dec 8. PMID: 34878946. Pubmed
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