Anatomical Mapping of the Posterior Interosseous Nerve and Artery
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Purpose: To determine variation of where the posterior interosseous artery (PIA) and nerve (PIN) converge in the distal, posterior aspect of the forearm. Methods: At the UNTHSC anatomy lab, 10 cadavers (five men and five women) were selected and dissected. The merging of the PIN and PIA was revealed in the left and right forearms for each cadaver. A digital caliper was used to measure from the middle point between the olecranon process and lateral epicondyle to the location of where the structures meet in the forearm. These measurements were then converted to average thumb interphalangeal joint (IPJ) widths (based on previous research). Results: The data collected from the ten cadavers indicate that the PIN and PIA converge, on average, 91.492 mm (9.1492 cm, about 4.5 thumb IPJ widths) down the length of the forearm. The variation between the left and right upper extremities within each cadaver ranged from 0 mm to 8.667 mm. Conclusion: The results provide a valuable clinic resource for medical professionals attempting to provide effective manual intervention or modalities to relieve the symptoms of PIA or PIN entrapment within the posterior forearm. The clinician can use an average of 4.5 thumb IPJ widths to measure distally down the forearm to identify the approximate convergence location of the PIA and PIN structures.