Elbow Anatomy Pictures, Bones, Muscles and Nerves
The elbow is a very versatile joint in the upper extremities that provide a great deal of motion within the arm. Without the elbow many daily activities would be quite impossible. Eating, playing sports, dressing, and hugging our loved ones would all be impossible.
While the elbow is a very complex structure it can be easily visualized through x-rays or MRI for a better understanding of how this structure works. Of course it’s advisable to keep your elbows healthy and treat injuries promptly to prevent joint damage later on too.
Read on to learn more about the anatomy of your elbow and the many functions this joint can provide on a daily basis.
The Bones of The Elbow
The elbow contains several bones and each has an important job to do. The elbow also has the responsibility of being the connecting point for the radius and ulna to the humerus as well. Below you will find a detailed description of the bones that make up the structure of the elbow.
Radius – The bone of the lower arm extending from the elbow to the wrist. This bone is located on the side of the arm where the thumb is located.
Ulna – The ulna is a smaller bone that runs through the lower arm connecting with the radius. This bone lies on the side of the arm where the pinkie is located.
Humerus – The humerus is the long bone of the upper arm. This bone originates at the socket of the shoulder and extends to the elbow joint. When connected with the elbow this bone joins the ulna and radius to form the arm or upper extremity.
Muscles of the Elbow
Of course with bones must be connective tissues and muscles for a complete structure. Without these the elbow would simply be a pile of bones incapable of movement. There aren’t many muscles involved in the movement of the elbow, but their work is phenomenal. From performing great tennis serves to cuddling a new born baby, these muscles are hard workers with great results. Keeping them healthy and avoiding repetitive injury to these areas will help them stay stronger, longer. The two major muscles of the elbow are listed below along with their definitions to help you better understand their function.
Biceps Brachii – This is a very large muscles that is present in the upper arm. This muscle helps to rotate the arm and is responsible for the ability to place our palms up.
Triceps Brachii – This muscle originates in the back area of the upper portion of the arm and helps to stabilize the hand when the need for fine motor skills arises.
Nerves of the Elbow
There are also three major nerves that pass through the elbow as well and innervate the muscle contractions within the upper and lower arm. These nerves terminate in the hand after passing through the wrist. The following are the major nerves that pass through the elbow and their definitions:
Median Nerve – This nerve can be found on the inside of the arm passing by the front side of the elbow. The median nerve provides impulses to bend the wrist and hand. It also provides sensation to the hand, thumb, index, and middle fingers. An injury to this nerve may cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Ulnar Nerve – This nerve can be found on the inside of the arm and positioned behind the back of the elbow as well. This nerve also allows the fingers and wrist to bend while also allowing the fingers lateral motion. The nerve supplies feeling to the back of the hand, the palm, and the ring fingers as too.
Radial Nerve – The radial nerve can be found along the back and the outer portions of the upper arm. This nerve allows for the straightening of the wrist, hand, and thumb. It also supplies feeling to the back of the hand, index finger, a portion of the ring fingers, and the index finger.