The radial artery (Fig. 137) commences at the level of the radial neck by lying on the tendon of biceps. In its upper half it lies overlapped by brachio-radialis, the surface marking of the artery being the groove which can be seen on the medial side of this tensed muscle in the muscular subject. Distally in the forearm the artery lies superficially between brachioradialis and flexor carpi radialis, and it is between these two tendons that it is palpated at the wrist (Fig. 116).
In the middle third of the forearm the radial nerve lies along the lateral side of the artery; the nerve may here be incorporated in a carelessly placed ligature.
Distal to the radial pulse, the artery gives off a branch to assist in forming the superficial palmar arch. It then passes deep to the tendons of abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis to enter the anatomical snuff-box (in which it can be felt), pierces the first dorsal interosseous muscle and adductor pollicis, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpals, and goes on to form the deep palmar arch with the deep branch of the ulnar artery.
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