Anterior aspect of forearm


1 Brachioradialis 2 Bicipital tendon 3 Bicipital aponeurosis 4 Flexor carpi radialis 5 Biceps brachii 6 Brachialis 7 Extensor carpi radilais longus 8 Extensor carpi radialis brevis




The forearm is divided into two compartments by an intervening interosseous membrane placed between the ulna and radius. Also the division of the muscles depends on the action of muscles and also their attachments. For example, all the muscles in the anterior compartment perform flexion and hence that compartment is also called flexor compartment. The muscles also take origin from the medial epicondyle of humerus, which is also called the common flexor origin. Most muscles in the posterior compartment are extensors and the compartment is therefore called extensor compartment. The muscles take origin from the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, which is also called common extensor origin.


Presents transversely running Langerís lines

There are three ventral flexor transverse lines at the distal end of the anterior surface of forearm at its junction with the hand.

  • Proximal ventral transverse line marks the end of synovial flexor sheaths

  • Intermediate ventral transverse line paled the level of wrist joint

  • Distal ventral transverse line is placed at the level of proximal border of flexor retinaculum.

Superficial fascia:

Strong at the proximal end because of the subcutaneous border of ulna. Contains loose fat and the following cutaneous structures

  • Cephalic vein

  • Basilic vein

  • Medial vein of forearm

  • Medial cutaneous nerve of forearm

  • Posterior cutaneous nerve of forearm in part

  • Lateral cutaneous nerve of forearm in part

Deep fascia:

Bound to the superficial musculature.

Muscles: Superficial layer

  • Brachioradialis (this is an extensor)

  • Pronator teres

  • Flexor carpi radialis

  • Palmaris longus

  • Flexor digitorum superficialis

Muscles: Deep layer

  • Pronator quadratus

  • Flexor digitorum profundus

  • Flexor pollicis longus


  • Radial artery and its branches, which are

  • Muscular branches to radial musculature

  • Ulnar artery whose branches are

  • Muscular branches to ulnar musculature

  • Anterior interosseous artery

  • Palmar carpal arch


These are the corresponding veins (which accompany the artery in toto) or venae comitantes of the arteries enumerated above


  • Median nerve and its branches

  • Anterior interosseous nerve

  • Muscular branches to all muscles in flexor compartment except 2 supplied by ulnar nerve

  • Ulnar nerve and its branches

  • Muscular branch to ulnar half of flexor digitorum profundus

  • Muscular branch to flexor carpi ulnaris

  • Flexor carpi ulnaris


  • Oblique cord

  • Lymphatics

  • Embryology

  • Histology


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1 Cubital fossa 2 Flexor carpi ulnaris 3 Flexor carpi radialis/palmaris longus 4 Median vein of forearm 5 Cephalic vein

Superficial fascia

1 Cephalic vein 2 Basilic vein

Superficial muscles

1 Flexor carpi radialis 2 Palmaris longus 3 Flexor digitorum superficialis 4 Flexor carpi ulnaris 5 Radial artery 6 Brachioradialis

Deep muscles/arteries/veins

1 Radial artery 2 Ulnar artery 3 Flexor carpi radialis tendon 4 Biceps brachii tendon 5 Median nerve


1 Radial nerve/artery 2 Ulnar nerve/artery 3 Pronator quadratus 4 Brachialis 5 Median nerve