Collateral Nerves

In addition to the five terminal nerves, there are several collateral nerves that arise from the brachial plexus proximal to the terminal nerves (i.e., from the rami, trunks, or cords). These nerves innervate proximal limb muscles (shoulder girdle muscles). Table III-4-2 summarizes the collateral nerves.

Table III-4-2. The Collateral Nerves of the Brachial Plexus

: Collateral Nerve

Muscles or Skin Innervated

Dorsal scapular nerve


Long thoracic nerve

Serratus anterior

■ Suprascapular nerve

Sup rasp inatus and infraspinatus

j Lateral pectoral nerve

Pectoralis major

Medial pectoral nerve

Pectoralis major and minor

Upper subscapular nerve


; Middle subscapular (thoracodorsal) nerve

Latissimus dorsi

! Lower subscapular nerve

Subscapularis and teres major

Medial brachial

Skin of medial arm

cutaneous nerve

: Medial antebrachial

Skin of medial forearm

cutaneous nerve

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