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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What are the functions of the median nerve and radial nerve?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Yogesh D

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 960 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 14 Aug 2017 in Internal Doctor Category
Question: STATEMENT: I am trying to describe the sensory nerves in my hands relating to the median nerve and radial nerve.>
I have collected an assortment of information and I am having difficulty in editing this information to correctly describe these nerves.
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REQUEST: would you please review my information and describe these two nerves properly and if need be, to add information that is missing.
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THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE
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- MY median nerve that supplies sensory innervation to the skin of MY palmar side of MY index, thumb and middle finger, half of MY ring finger, and MY nail bed.
MY palmar cutaneous branch of MY median nerve supplies sensory innervation to MY lateral part of MY palm
-Digital cutaneous branches to common palmar digital branch and proper palmar digital branch of the median nerve which supply the: a) lateral (radial) three and a half digits on the palmar side b) dorsum of the tips of index, middle and thumb
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One of two Common palmar digital Branch of MY medial branch of MY median nerve; supplies sensory innervation as it goes toward MY cleft between MY index and middle fingers, where it divides into two proper digital Branch that supplies sensory innervation to MY adjoining sides of these digits.
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The second Common palmar digital branch of MY medial branch of MY median nerve; supplies sensory innervation as it goes toward the cleft between the middle and ring fingers, and splits into two proper digital Branch that supplies sensory innervation to MY adjoining sides of these digits;
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- proper palmar digital branches three of the median nerve, two of these supply the sides of the thumb, while the third is distributed to the radial side of the index finger.
Each proper digital nerve, gives off a dorsal branch which joins the dorsal digital nerve from the superficial branch of the radial nerve, and supplies the integument on the dorsal aspect of the last phalanx.
At the end of the digit, the proper digital nerve divides into two branches,
one of which supplies the pulp of the finger,
the other ramifies around and beneath the nail.
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-lateral branch of the median nerve, supplies sensory innervation to MY radial side of MY thumb (by a digital nerve), the skin of the radial side and ball of the thumb.
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superficial branch of the radial nerve supplies sensory innervation to MY adjoining sides of the middle and ring fingers
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medial branch of the radial nerve communicates on the back of the hand, with the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve. It then divides into four digital nerves, which are distributed as follows: the first supplies the ulnar side of the thumb; the second, the radial side of the index finger; the third, the adjoining sides of the index and middle fingers; the fourth communicates with a filament from the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve, and supplies the adjacent sides of the middle and ring fingers. It then divides into four digital nerves, which are distributed as follows: the first supplies the ulnar side of the thumb; the second, the radial side of the index finger; the third, the adjoining sides of the index and middle fingers; the fourth communicates with a filament from the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve, and supplies the adjacent sides of the middle and ring fingers.
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-superficial branch of the radial nerve provides sensory innervation to much of the back of the hand, including the web of skin between the thumb and index finger, except for the back of the little finger and adjacent half of the ring finger
doctor
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 20 minutes later
Brief Answer:
The information you have collected is accurate.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

The information you have collected is almost perfectly accurate.

There will be some individual variation among people.

The basic plan of cutaneous supply of the hand (palm and the dorsum of the palm) is like this.

3 Nerves supply the skin of the palm and back of the hand.

a. Median
b. Radial
c. Ulnar.

Palmar aspect is mostly supplied by the Median and Ulnar nerves.

The thumb side (Radial side, or lateral part), the central part of the palm, thumb, thenar eminece, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger are supplied by the branches of Median nerve.

A small portion of the radial most aspect of the thumb and a small portion of thenar eminence, even on the palmar side maybe supplied by a branch of radial nerve.

The ulnar side/medial side.

The hypothenar eminence and the medial part of the palm and medial half of the ring finger, and the little finger are supplied by superficial branch of Ulnar nerve.

Now coming to the back of the hand.

The radial side is supplied by the Radial Nerve, mostly.

That is, as you have correctly described, most of the lateral part of the back of the hand, back of the thumb, back of the index finger and middle fingers except the nail bed and just around the nail are supplied by the digital branches of superficial branch of radial nerve.

Radial half of ring finger is supplied by the radial nerve, except around the nail bed.

Medial half of the ring finger is supplied by the ulnar nerve (via Superficial dorsal branch).

The entirety of little finger is supplied by the Ulnar nerve.

The pulp of ring finger is supplied on the palmar side by Ulnar nerve medially and median nerve laterally.

On the back of the ring finger, that is around the nail, again, the madial side is supplied by ulnar nerve and radial side by the median nerve.

As I mentioned earlier, there may be overlap between the distribution.

In some people, Ulnar nerve supplies Little finger, and ring finger completely, both of palmar as well as dorsal surfaces, and also supplies half of the middle finger on the dorsal surface.

This is the general plan of cutaneous distribution of the hand.

I hope I have answered your query.

Please feel free to write back to me if you have any doubts.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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