Posterior triangle of the neck

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Posterior triangle of the neck
The triangles of the neck. (Posterior triangles to the right. Sternocleidomastoideus runs vertically. Occipital triangle labeled at right, and subclavian triangle labeled at bottom.)
Side of neck, showing chief surface markings. (Nerves are yellow, arteries are red.)
Latin regio cervicalis lateralis, trigonum cervicale posterius
Gray's subject #145 563
Dorlands/Elsevier r_07/12700361

The posterior triangle (or lateral cervical region) is a region of the neck.


It has the following boundaries:

Occipital and subclavian triangles

The posterior triangle is crossed, about 2.5 cm above the clavicle, by the inferior belly of the Omohyoideus, which divides the space into two triangles:


It contains the accessory nerve, which crosses the triangle from the upper 1/3 of sternocleidomastoideus to the lower 2/3 of the trapezius.

Clinical significance

It is particularly vulnerable to damage at lymph node biopsy, where damage results in an inability to shrug the shoulders or raise the arm above the head (eg, for brushing hair)

See Also

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.