Anatomical Variations of the Superficial Radial Nerve Encountered during Radial Forearm Free Flap Elevation.


Hospital of the University Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, [Email]


A frequently encountered anatomical structure in the elevation of a radial forearm free flap is the superficial branch of the radial nerve. This structure has a relatively consistent anatomic location, but variations do occur. We present a case where the superficial branch of the radial nerve was in an usual position but remained superficial to the brachioradialis throughout its course. Two previous reports also describe the superficial branch of the radial nerve remaining superficial to the brachioradialis, although, in these reports, the nerve was more medial than is typical. We postulate that one of the most common anatomic variations of the superficial branch of the radial nerve is for it to remain superficial to the brachioradialis. As this variation could potentially be confused with the medial or lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerves, it is important for the reconstructive surgeon to be aware of this to prevent inadvertent injury.


Anatomical variations,Radial forearm free flap elevation,Superficial radial nerve,