Posterior cord

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Nerve: Posterior cord
Brachial plexus.jpg
Plan of brachial plexus. (Posterior cord is shaded gray.)
The right brachial plexus with its short branches, viewed from in front. The Sternomastoid and Trapezius muscles have been completely, the Omohyoid and Subclavius have been partially, removed; a piece has been sawed out of the clavicle; the Pectoralis muscles have been incised and reflected.
Latin fasciculus posterior plexus brachialis
Gray's subject #210 933
Innervates    none
From brachial plexus - posterior divisions of the three trunks
To subscapular, up. and low.
/ Elsevier

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The posterior cord is a division of the brachial plexus. It consists of contributions from all of the roots of the brachial plexus.[1]

The posterior cord gives rise to the following nerves:[2]

Name Roots Supplies
upper subscapular nerve C5-C6 subscapularis muscle of the rotator cuff
lower subscapular nerve C5-C6 teres major
thoracodorsal nerve C6-C8 latissimus dorsi muscle
axillary nerve C5-C6 sensation to the shoulder and motor to the deltoid muscle and the teres minor muscle
radial nerve C5-C8, T1 triceps brachii muscle, the brachioradialis muscle, the extensor muscles of the fingers and wrist (extensor carpi radialis muscle), and the extensor and abductor muscles of the thumb


  1. Drake, Richard, et al. Gray's Anatomy For Students, Elsevier, 2005. pg. 657
  2. Mnemonic at 465

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